An innovative form of ocean energy generation is set to go into commercial production after a crowdfunding round raised £7 million ($8.97 million).
Orbital Marine Power, a Scottish engineering company, will use the money to construct a production model of its Orbital O2 2MW turbine, which it claims will be the “most powerful tidal generating platform in the world” when launched.
In a statement Thursday, it described the unit as a floating turbine that “can be towed, installed and easily maintained.” It is made up of a 73-meter long “superstructure” that supports two 1 megawatt (MW) turbines on each side.
The scheme has already locked in several supporting grants in addition to equity funding, with some coming from the Scottish government.
Orbital Marine Power’s CEO, Andrew Scott, said that the firm was “delighted” with the funding result.
“It’s a terrific endorsement of our technology and a clear signal that the U.K. public is hugely supportive of seeing tidal energy brought into the domestic and global energy mixes,” Scott added.
“The whole team at Orbital Marine are excited to be moving forwards with this flagship project and deliver the first O2 unit for costs similar to offshore wind and so provide the basis for a new and sustainable industry.”
Orbital Marine Power said it was planning to build the turbine over the next 12 months. It will be deployed at the European Marine Energy Centre, in Orkney, next year.
The last few months have seen Orbital Marine Power announce a number of agreements relating to its newest turbine.
Towards the end of 2018, the company revealed it had signed an agreement to demonstrate its floating tidal technology at the Morlais Tidal Energy Project at Anglesey, an island off the coast of Wales.
In 2016, the business launched its SR2000 turbine, which generated more than 3 gigawatt hours of electricity during its initial 12-month test program.
The European Commission, the legislative arm of the EU, has described “ocean energy” as being both abundant and renewable. It’s estimated that ocean energy could potentially contribute around 10 percent of the European Union’s power demand by 2050, according to the Commission.