Orkney green energy firm Orbital Marine Power has secured cash to finance the ongoing operation of O2, its flagship floating tidal turbine.
The Scottish National Investment Bank and numerous other individuals have invested money into the scheme through the Abundance Investment platform.
Debt will be serviced by the long-term sale of electricity from O2, forecast at around 100 gigawatt hours (GWh) of clean energy over its lifespan.
The first part of the funding is a £4 million investment from the Scottish National Investment Bank, hailed as an “institutional vote of confidence”.
And there is scope for “this relationship to deliver further” as Orbital, which also has a base in Edinburgh, develops and delivers more “multi-device projects” across the UK.
The second element of the round is a £4m 12-year debenture offer, which has been funded by over a thousand individuals from Abundance Investment.
It helps to refinance a construction loan raised through Abundance in 2019, the platform’s largest single raise of this type.
The latest funding, described as a “milestone”, follows equity investment secured from TechnipFMC late last year.
The energy services company also became a shareholder in Orbital.
Andrew Scott, chief executive of Orbital, said: “Completing operational finance for the first O2 is a significant moment for Orbital. Closing this funding demonstrates strong institutional and public support for the company, our proven technology and our pioneering approach to tidal stream power.
“Tidal stream energy has a vital role to play in delivering clean, predictable energy as a complementary part of the broader clean energy transition. Following today’s announcement, Orbital is well-placed to continue developing further projects, benefiting our wide-reaching UK supply chain.”
In July last year, Orbital announced that O2, the most powerful tidal power turbine in the world, had started generating electricity via the grid in Orkney.
The two mega-watt unit is expected to operate in the waters of the Fall of Warness over the next 15 years.
Orbital said the project is the result of “leading product development in the UK”, with 80% of the turbine delivered by domestic suppliers.
Mark Munro, executive director, Scottish National Investment Bank, said: “The Bank’s investment in Orbital aligns with our mission to support home-grown innovation and the just energy transition. The company’s unique and scalable approach to tidal stream energy has an important role to play in the journey towards net zero, and its focus on a domestic supply chain and strong Orkney heritage also has significant potential to benefit Scotland more broadly.”
Bruce Davis, joint managing director, Abundance Investment, said: “Our investors are proud to have mobilised their money to support Orbital Marine Power in their quest to make tidal stream energy a key pillar of the UK energy sustainability and security. From its origins as a world beating record crowdfunding investment we look forward to helping to finance a future world beating industry.”