Scotrenewables SR2000 being deployed at EMEC tidal test site (Credit Scotrenewables)

Orbital Marine Power

Scotrenewables Tidal Power Limited have undergone a comprehensive company-wide rebranding to Orbital Marine Power Ltd (October 2018). The new name is inspired by the orbital cycle of the moon around the earth, the reliable provider of tidal energy.

Orbital Marine Power Ltd is an innovative Scottish engineering company focused on the development of tidal energy turbine technology with the potential to produce a step-change reduction in the cost of energy from tidal currents. The company currently employs 23 staff with offices in Orkney and Edinburgh.

Orbital Marine Power’s technology is a unique floating tidal turbine designed to provide 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. The device hosts two propellers which fold up while being towed.

The technology has been under continuous engineering development, including rigorous testing of scaled systems in both tank conditions and open ocean environments since the company was founded in Orkney in 2002.

In 2012 the company achieved a world first when it exported power to the UK grid from its 250kW floating scale model, the SR250, at EMEC’s grid-connected tidal test site at the Fall of Warness. The 250kW device, measuring 33m long, was constructed at Harland & Wolff in Belfast in 2010 and weighs 100 tonnes. Initial tests involved short-term deployments of the device on its moorings followed by disconnection and towing back to harbour for inspection. The testing programme was undertaken in incremental stages, culminating in a three-month period of continuous grid-connected operation at the end of 2012.

Building on the success of SR250, Orbital Marine Power developed the SR2000, a larger 63 m, 500 tonne, 2 MW ‘commercial scale’ turbine more suited for tidal array deployment.

The SR1-2000 arrived in Orkney in June 2016, and was first deployed at EMEC’s tidal test site in October 2016. The SR2000 project was supported by Scottish Enterprise’s WATERS II scheme along with investments from Scotrenewables’ shareholders which include ABB, DP Energy, Fred Olsen, Total and Scottish Government via the Renewable Energy Investment Fund (REIF).  The testing programme at EMEC was also supported via the FORESEA Interreg-NWE funded project.

SR1-2000 generation milestones

Horizon 2020 FloTEC project

Leveraging £7m Horizon 2020 funding, Orbital Marine Power are leading an industrial consortium to optimise the SR1-2000 under the FloTEC (Floating Tidal Energy Commercialisation) project which is scheduled to run until 2019.

Interreg North-West Europe ITEG project

The construction of the moorings and actuation system of Orbital Marine Power’s second generation tidal turbine, Orbital 2MW, is funded by the Interreg North-West Europe programme via the ITEG (Integrating Tidal Energy into the European Grid) project. Using excess energy generated by the Orbital 2MW turbine, this project will demonstrate an integrated hydrogen production solution in remote areas where grid export limitations exist. The project is scheduled to run until late 2020 and aims to bring down the pre-commercial cost of ocean energy by testing in a real environment and open up new market opportunities for the ocean energy sector via hydrogen production and energy storage. The ITEG project is led by the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) and includes the following partners in the consortium: Orbital Marine Power, AREVA H2Gen, Energy Systems Catapult, Ghent Univeristy, Université le Havre Normandie, Université de Caen Normandie, Energy Valley and Agence de Développement pour la Normandie.


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