Scotland’s first and only currently consented tidal power project has successfully completed an initial testing period in Orkney, and is now providing electricity to homes and business on the nearby island of Eday.
The 1-MW underwater turbine was installed last December and has been undergoing a battery of tests in the waters around Orkney. According to ScottishPower Renewables, “the initial testing period has been very positive with the device achieving full export power.”
“The concept of generating electricity from the natural movement of the tide is still relatively new – and test projects like this are vital to help us understand how we can fully realise the potential of this substantial energy source,” said Keith Anderson, CEO of ScottishPower Renewables.
“The performance of the first HS1000 device has given us great confidence so far. Engineers were able install the device during atrocious weather conditions, and it has been operating to a very high standard ever since. We have already greatly developed our understanding of tidal power generation, and this gives us confidence ahead of implementing larger scale projects in Islay and the Pentland Firth.”
“Scotland has the best tidal power resources in Europe, and that’s why we are seeing world leading technologies tested here. This device is already providing renewable electricity for Orkney, but the potential is there in our waters to make a significant contribution towards our overall energy needs and our carbon reduction targets.”
The Orkney test device aims to prove just how useful and feasible tidal power can be, specifically in Scotland’s perfect conditions.
Scottish PowerRenewables eventually hope to use this technology as part of the world’s first tidal turbine array planned for the Sound of Islay, where they hope to develop a 10-MW tidal array. They have already received planning consent from the Scottish Government in March of 2011.
Capable of powering the energy needs of 500 homes, the HS1000 tidal turbine has been developed by ANDRITZ HYDRO Hammerfest. The company has had a HS1000 prototype device generating electricity in Norway for over 6 years.
Stein Atle Andersen, Managing Director of ANDRITZ HYDRO Hammerfest, said: “The 1MW pre-commercial device is an important step in our staged strategy for developing reliable and cost efficient tidal energy converting devices and power plants. The tests being carried out so far have confirmed the design basis for the technology and given comfort concerning the device’s capacity.”
“We are still early in the testing programme with endurance, availability and reliability being the most imminent factors for asserting a proper basis for developing commercial tidal energy power plants. However, we are already well into design engineering for the first power plant.”
“In total we believe this is an important step forward for the industry in general by demonstrating that commercial size developments are feasible.”
Source: ScottishPower Renewables
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