Global Economy

Blades contract signed as work continues on 'world's most powerful tidal turbine'

This illustration depicts how the Orbital O2 turbine will look when in the water. 

Orbital Marine Power Ltd 

The blades for what is being described as the “world’s most powerful tidal turbine” will be manufactured by a firm based in the south of England, according to a contract announcement Thursday.

AC Marine & Composites, which has facilities in the English county of Hampshire, will make four 10-meter long blades for Orbital Marine Power’s O2 tidal turbine.

In the announcement Thursday, Orbital Marine Power said the turbine would have a swept area of more than 600 square meters and be able to generate “over 2 MW from tidal stream resources.”

The turbine is slated to be operational in 2020 and will be able to generate electricity for more than 1,700 U.K. homes. It will use a 72-meter-long “floating superstructure” to support two 1 MW turbines.

As well as the contract with AC Marine & Composites, a platform manufacturing contract and anchors contract have previously been awarded to TEXO Group and FAUN Trackway, respectively.

The development of the Orbital O2 turbine follows on from the 2016 launch of Orbital’s 2 MW SR2000 turbine. The SR2000 produced more than 3 gigawatt hours of renewable electricity in 12 months of continuous testing.

The EU has described “ocean energy” as being both abundant and renewable. It’s estimated that ocean energy could potentially contribute around 10% of the EU’s power demand by the year 2050, according to the European Commission.


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