Sustainable Marine Energy (SME) has arranged a £4.5 million funding to start the deployment of an array of its PLAT-O tidal energy systems at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney.
SME has conducted testing of its first PLAT-O prototype in the Solent, off the Isle of Wight, during 2014 and 2015. SME will be grid connecting their first system at EMEC over the coming months.
This deployment will be followed by a larger, 240kW, platform with Schottel Hydro instream turbines (SIT 250), the production of which will start this summer, also in Scotland.
“We are really excited to be moving forward with our community array at EMEC,” said Jason Hayman, managing director of SME. “This will show that 2nd generation tidal energy technology really is commercially viable. It is fantastic that Schottel Hydro is supporting us at this stage, and also that they have the confidence in the capability and potential of Scottish supply chain to deliver on this project. This is a long term commitment for SME and Schottel Hydro and we are rapidly expanding our operations in Orkney, whilst benefiting from the experience of local contractors to drive down the costs of marine operations.”
Niels A. Lange, managing director of Schottel Hydro said: “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. We are pleased to support SME on their way to demonstrate the benefits of PLAT-O plus our SIT 250 technology. This project with complementary technologies indicates the perspectives of productive interaction within the entire industry.”
“EMEC is very much looking forward to seeing SME get into the water at EMEC’s tidal site.” said Neil Kermode, managing director of EMEC. “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.”