Orbital Marine Power Ltd., working with Thompsons of Prudhoe and Port of Blyth, has decommissioned its prototype 2-MW SR2000 floating tidal turbine.
Heavy lift specialists Mammoet managed the tandem lift of the 516-tonne structure out of the water and onto the Blyth quayside in what was the port’s largest heavy lift to date, according to a press release.
Orbital is reclaiming key components and elements of the turbine to carry out engineering inspections, with the remainder of the structure to be dismantled for recycling and disposal.
The final phase of the full-scale demonstration project follows a test program that saw more than 3,250 MWh of electricity generated by the SR2000 at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney, Scotland. Orbital in in the process of manufacturing its 2-MW O2 turbine to replace the SR2000 at EMEC early next year. The O2 incorporates key innovations and lessons from the SR2000 that, on a like-for-like basis, will enable a 35% improvement in yield at EMEC, Orbital says.
“The SR2000 was an industry break-through and its success is a testimony to the team who engineered, built and operated it,” said Andrew Scott, Orbital chief executive officer. “Not only did it validate the conceptual benefits of our floating tidal solution, but it re-set the performance bar for the sector. A truly outstanding platform for us to be building on with our new O2 turbine. I would also like to thank Thompsons of Prudhoe and Port of Blyth for planning and executing the decommissioning of the SR2000 with precision and professionalism.”
During its test program, the SR2000 exported more than 3 GWh of electricity to the Orkney grid in 12 months of continuous generation. At times, the SR2000 unit was measured to have been meeting about 25% of total electricity demand of the Orkney Islands. The SR2000 maintained rated power in seas of 2 m significant wave height and maintained generation is seas of 3.5 m significant wave height. The largest wave the turbine withstood was greater than 6 m.
The O2 turbine design will have a blade length of 10 m (as compared to 8 m for the SR2000).
Orbital is a Scottish engineering company focused on the development of tidal energy turbine technology capable of producing a step-change reduction in the cost of energy from tidal currents. The company’s floating technology offers a low-cost solution for simplified and safe manufacture, installation, access and maintenance along with the ability to use low-cost, small workboats for all offshore operations.