Orbital Marine Power Ltd (Orbital) has successfully launched its 2 MW tidal turbine, the Orbital O2, from the Port of Dundee.
The operation was managed by Osprey Heavy Lift and saw the 680-tonne tidal turbine transferred from the Forth Ports quayside facility in Dundee into the River Tay using a submersible barge.
The launch marks the completion of the turbine build, managed by TEXO Fabrication, and the O2 will now be towed to the Orkney Islands where it will undergo commissioning before being connected to the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC)’s grid-connected tidal test site.
Speaking of the launch, Orbital’s CEO, Andrew Scott, said:
“This is a huge milestone for Orbital; the O2 is a remarkable example of British cleantech innovation and the build we have completed here is an inspiring display of what a UK supply chain can achieve if given the opportunity – even under the extraordinary pressures of a pandemic.”
The O2 turbine started construction in the second half of 2019 and reflects approximately 80% UK supply content. From Scottish steel work and main manufacturing through to anchors from Wales and blades from the south of England; the build of the O2 is estimated to have supported over 80 jobs within the UK economy.
The launch of the O2 marks the first vessel launch from Dundee since ship building ended over forty years ago.
The O2 has the ability to generate enough clean, predictable electricity to meet the demand of around 2,000 UK homes and offset approximately 2,200 tonnes of CO2 production per year.
Chris Smith, MD of TEXO Group commented:
“The O2 programme has given us a significant opportunity to demonstrate our multi-disciplinary capabilities, and our proactive approach to working collaboratively with clients. We firmly believe that the transition to a net zero environment will deliver a range of opportunities to the UK’s engineering and fabrication sectors and we are very proud to see Orbital’s O2 turbine launched today.”
The O2 project has been supported through funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the FloTEC project and the European Regional Development Fund through the Interreg North West Europe Programme under the ITEG project. This project has also received support under the framework of the OCEANERA-NET COFUND project and co-funding by the European Union’s Horizon2020 research and innovation programme. The build of the O2 was also supported by the Scottish Government under the Saltire Tidal Energy Challenge Fund.