published on 23 April 2021 in energy

Energy from the sea: Orbital launches O2, the world’s most powerful turbine

Orbital Marine Power, the Scottish developer of the world’s leading floating tidal turbine technology, has successfully launched Orbital O2, a 2 MW turbine that harnesses river and tidal currents. O2 was launched yesterday in Dundee Harbour, transferring it from the Forth Ports quayside into the River Tay via a submersible barge. From here it will be towed to the Orkney Islands for commissioning and then connection to the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC).

O2 is currently the most powerful turbine in its class to come on stream. To see it at work, however, we need to wait a few more days. The O2 turbine build – which began in the second half of 2019 – was carried out totally in the UK, from the Scottish steelwork to the production of the anchors in Wales and the blades in the south of England. The installation consists of a floating tubular steel hull, moored by anchors to the seabed. Two underwater rotors are connected to the body via two arms that can be raised to the surface in the event of maintenance. By harnessing tidal energy, a single turbine has the capacity to generate enough electricity to meet the demand of around 2,000 homes, avoiding emissions of around 2,200 tonnes of CO2 per year into the atmosphere.

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