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Orbital Marine Power hands turbine deal to Hampshire firm

New Orbital Marine O2 tidal turbine design.
New Orbital Marine O2 tidal turbine design.

Orkney firm Orbital Marine Power has announced it has awarded a turbine contract to Hampshire company AC Marine & Composites (ACMC).

Orbital Marine is currently constructing its ground-breaking O2 tidal turbine, which is part of a long-term project at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) on Orkney.

The O2, capable of generating over 2 megawatts (MW) from tidal stream resources, will become the world’s most powerful tidal turbine when it enters operation in late 2020.

ACMC will build a number of 10m composite blades for both of the O2’s twin rotors (four blades in total) giving the machine a swept area of over 600 square meters.

No contract value has been announced due to “commercial confidentiality”.

Andrew Scott, Orbital’s chief executive, said: “Gosport’s AC Marine and Composites have an impressive track record in delivering high quality composites solutions to a range of sectors including marine energy.

“We are delighted that they are supporting the commercialisation of our technology through the O2 project.

“We believe this contract demonstrates the strong potential for the UK’s advanced materials sector to supply high value components to the emerging, global tidal stream market.”

Orbital Marine Power, formerly Scotrenewables, reported an industry benchmark last August as its SR2000 tidal turbine generated more power in the past year than the entire Scottish marine energy sector managed in the 12 years prior to its launch.

It is understood the new O2 tidal turbine is capable of producing electricity for over 1,700 UK homes.

Alex Newton, director of AC Marine and Composites added: “We are extremely proud to have been awarded this contract by Orbital Marine so becoming part of the wider UK supply chain for the O2 project.

“Our structured production philosophy and in-house resin infusion technology will no doubt add value to this commercial tidal stream project.”

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