U.K. tidal developer names ABB to install generator at Orkney

Scotland wave and tidal power developer Aquamarine Power Ltd. has named power and automation supplier ABB to complete electrical engineering design and to construct the electrical generating system for Aquamarine’s first Neptune tidal stream device.

Aquamarine, an affiliate of U.K. utility Scottish &Southern Energy, plans to install a Neptune tidal power device and an Oyster wave power device for comprehensive testing at the European Marine Energy Center at Orkney, Scotland. (HNN 3/28/08)

Under a contract of more than 2 million pounds (US$2.95 million), ABB is to install and commission the Neptune tidal stream system at Orkney. Aquamarine said the installation is to be the first demonstration of a full-scale Neptune unit. The developer said the Neptune unit totals 2.4 MW and is the largest tidal turbine under development.

The developer said it already has identified several promising sites that would support high-megawatt tidal projects in the United Kingdom and Ireland. It plans to deliver its first multi-megawatt commercial tidal farm within five years.

Aquamarine said the Neptune generating system is based on proven wind turbine technology adapted to capture energy from tidal streams. It includes a custom-designed control system, allowing remote monitoring, fault prevention, and continuous grid quality power output.

ABB has supported clients in the wind power sector for more than 20 years and is the world’s largest supplier of electrical products and services for wind turbine manufacturers, Aquamarine said. ABB expertise also includes undersea power cables.

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