Sustainable Marine Energy (SME) has moved its operational base to Orkney and will be connecting its first system to the grid at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) over the coming months. This deployment will then be followed by a larger 240kW platform with Schottel Hydro instream turbines (SIT 250).
SME tested of its first Plat-o prototype in the Solent during 2014 and 2015. Existing investors have been joined by the German tidal turbine manufacturer Schottel Hydro to provide the £4.5m funding required to prove the commercial viability of Plat-o for community scale arrays.
“We are really excited to be moving forward with our array at EMEC” says Jason Hayman, managing director of SME. “This will show that 2nd generation tidal energy technology really is commercially viable… This is a long term commitment for SME and Schottel Hydro and we are rapidly expanding our operations in Orkney, whilst benefitting from the experience of local contractors to drive down the costs of marine operations.”
Niels A. Lange, managing director of Schottel Hydro commented: ”We at Schottel Hydro are convinced that commercial tidal energy installations will be based upon cost-effective floating platform solutions like PLAT-O, carrying multiple tidal turbines.”
Neil Kermode, Managing Director of EMEC said: ”We expect this first phase of grid-connected demonstration in Orkney will generate a great deal more learning to add to previous real-sea experience at the Isle of Wight, and provide a solid base on which to build out with Schottel Hydro. The Orkney supply chain is poised and ready to help make that a success.”
From the magazine (subscribers only): Industry efforts to generate electricity from the UK’s tides will enter a critical new phase in 2016 with installation of the world’s first mini array of utility-scale turbines off the Scottish coast