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OpenHydro Press Release

An over-winter test programme at EMEC is providing Irish company OpenHydro with invaluable information that will shape the future development of its revolutionary tidal turbine. The firm says the Open-Centre Turbine performed well at EMEC’s test site for tidal technology off the island of Eday.

This week, the six-metre machine was removed from its support platform – which stands in a fast flowing tidal stream at the Fall of Warness – and is being transported to OpenHydro’s factory in Ireland for a scheduled inspection and service.

“It has been through a six-month test programme over the winter in a harsh and challenging marine environment,” said company chief executive James Ives. “We’re delighted with the way it has performed and look forward to gaining valuable data during the inspection process at our Irish factory and from our on-going testing in Orkney.”

OpenHydro will continue its test programme using the original six-metre Open-Centre Turbine first installed at EMEC in 2006, which will return to the site in the coming weeks. “That means the company can continue to gain important at-sea experience at our Eday test site,” said EMEC managing director Neil Kermode. “The operation to remove the turbine went smoothly and I’m pleased we’re providing OpenHydro with the test facilities they need as they take this revolutionary technology into the commercial arena.”

Using the experience gained in Orkney, OpenHydro is developing commercial tidal energy projects in Nova Scotia and the Channel Islands.

EMEC was established with around £15 million of funding from the Scottish Government, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, the Carbon Trust, the Department of Trade and Industry and other public sector agencies. It also operates a wave energy test site in Atlantic waters off Stromness.

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