The Scottish government has awarded £3.4m to a project to build the world’s most powerful floating tidal turbine.
Scottish engineering company Orbital Marine Power (Orbital) was awarded the money as the first recipient of the Scottish Government’s £10 million Saltire Tidal Energy Challenge Fund.
The 72m (236ft) long O2 floating tidal energy turbine will be capable of generating more than 2MW from tidal stream resources and power more than 1,700 homes per year. It will be built in Scotland and installed at the European Marine Energy Centre in Orkney.
Companies based in Orkney, Dundee, Cupar and Motherwell are involved in the construction of the turbine.
Scottish Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse said: “We have established a world lead in marine renewable technologies and this project represents a significant step forward in technological development. We are delighted this landmark turbine, designed by an innovative Scottish company, will also be built in Scotland.
“We believe tidal energy technology can not only play an important role in our own future energy system, but it has substantial export potential and this fund will help move tidal technologies closer to commercial deployment.
“However, the large scale roll out of both tidal and wave energy technologies has been harmed by the UK Government’s decision in 2016 to abandon its commitment to provide ring-fenced funding support.
“UK ministers must act quickly to provide the revenue support this exciting and innovative sector requires to achieve its economic potential.”
Orbital’s Chief Executive Officer Andrew Scott said: “We greatly appreciate the Scottish Government’s ongoing commitment and support for tidal stream energy, and this award will enable us to deliver a truly exciting and transformational project and continue the proud tradition of Scottish innovation and engineering.
“The O2 project will demonstrate how this emerging industrial sector has the ability to deliver new jobs and open up diversification opportunities for the UK’s supply chain in a growing global market whilst pioneering solutions for a zero carbon future.”