Orkney-based Scotrenewables Tidal Power has hailed its giant turbine for “resetting the bar” on costs as the device hit peak power.
Scotrenewables said commissioning work on the two megawatt SR2000 turbine had been completed quickly and at low cost using small crew transfer vessels off Orkney.
Scotrenewables, which employs 25 people in Orkney and Edinburgh, said the device had been undergoing a phased testing programme following its installation, leading to full power being reached this week.
SR2000 is the culmination of more than 12 years of engineering research.
It can generate enough energy to power about 1,000 homes a year, making it the world’s most powerful tidal turbine.
Nearly 10ft wide, 200ft long and weighing 550 tonnes, it was built at Harland and Wolf Heavy Industries’ shipyard in Belfast before being towed to Orkney in May.
It was installed on its moorings at the European Marine Energy Centre’s (Emec) Fall of Warness grid-connected test site in October.
Scotrenewables received support from Scottish Enterprise’s WATERS II scheme for the project.
It has also attracted investment from company shareholders including ABB, DP Energy, Fred Olsen and Total, as well as cash from the Scottish Government’s Renewable Energy Investment Fund.
Scotrenewables chief executive Andrew Scott said: “We are tremendously excited to have the SR2000 demonstrating the performance and cost advantages of our floating tidal technology, in line with forecasts, whilst delivering new benchmarks within the tidal sector.
“This performance resets the bar for the costs of delivering tidal power. Achieving this industry milestone is a goal the team at Scotrenewables have worked tirelessly towards for a long time – the credit lies with them for these fantastic achievements.”
Emec managing director Neil Kermode said: “Everybody at Emec offers their congratulations to Scotrenewables in reaching peak power on the SR2000.
“This milestone is testament to years of hard work and dedication shown by the Scotrenewables team.
“It further demonstrates that through dogged, unrelenting innovation tidal energy is getting ever closer to becoming part of our carbon free energy mix.”
Julien Pouget, senior vice-president for renewables at Total, said: “For Total, contributing to the development of renewable energies is as much a strategic choice as an industrial responsibility.
“As a shareholder of Scotrenewables we are proud to take part in a project that demonstrates how powerful utility scale tidal turbines can be deployed and maintained with low cost, locally based vessels towards a step-change cost reduction for the tidal energy sector.”