Key milestone

World’s most powerful tidal device generates power


Wave power: the O2 turbine device

The most powerful tidal turbine device in the world has connected to the grid in Orkney.

Orbital Marine Power’s O2 tidal turbine is anchored in the Fall of Warness where a subsea cable connects the two-megawatt offshore unit to the local onshore electricity network.

Manufactured and launched in Dunde, the project is the culmination of 15 years developing the technology.

It comes as industry leaders call for government support to help the tidal industry develop commercially.

Orbital chief executive Andrew Scott said: “This is a major milestone for the O2 and I would like to commend the whole team at Orbital and our supply chain for delivering this pioneering renewable energy project safely and successfully.


“Our vision is that this project is the trigger to the harnessing of tidal stream resources around the world to play a role in tackling climate change whilst creating a new, low-carbon industrial sector.”

The construction of the turbine was enabled by public lenders through the ethical investment platform, Abundance Investment, as well as being supported by the Scottish Government through the Saltire Tidal Energy Challenge Fund.

Scottish Government secretary for net zero and energy Michael Matheson said: “With our abundant natural resources, expertise and ambition, Scotland is ideally-placed to harness the enormous global market for marine energy whilst helping deliver a net-zero economy.

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“That’s why the Scottish Government has consistently supported the marine energy sector for over ten years, including through the Saltire Tidal Energy Challenge fund, which provided £3.4 million for this project.

“The deployment of Orbital Marine Power’s O2, the world’s most powerful tidal turbine, is a proud moment for Scotland and a significant milestone in our journey to net zero. I congratulate Orbital Marine, the European Marine Energy Centre and everyone who has made this achievement possible.”

About 80% of the turbine was delivered by UK suppliers and operation will bring long-term employment to coastal communities. Costs are projected to fall steeply from the initial roll-out of the technology, as previously seen with wind and solar energy.

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