Scots firm behind world’s most powerful tidal turbine goes global with 'game changer' deal

The Scottish firm behind what has been billed as the world’s most powerful tidal turbine has secured strategic investment to accelerate its global presence as part of a “game changing” deal.

Orbital Marine Power has agreed a partnership with TechnipFMC to ramp up the global commercialisation of Orbital’s pioneering tidal energy technology. TechnipFMC will also become a shareholder in the Scots Group.

The company recently completed the construction and installation of its distinctive O2 turbine in the waters off the Orkney Islands. It has been exporting low carbon electricity to the UK grid since July.

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Manufactured and launched in Dundee earlier in the year before being towed up to Orkney, the 74-metre turbine represents the culmination of more than 15 years of product development.

Manufactured and launched in Dundee earlier in the year before being towed up to Orkney, the 74-metre turbine represents the culmination of more than 15 years of product development.

Orbital said TechnipFMC had a “proven track record” of successfully delivering large-scale offshore energy projects to customers around the world.

The two companies will now work together to accelerate the market scale-up and deployment of Orbital enabling technology in tidal energy projects.

Andrew Scott, chief executive at Orbital, said: “This TechnipFMC partnership is a game changer for Orbital and the wider sector. Representing a significant milestone in growing the long-term value of the company, it validates our approach and proven track record of delivery.

“Working with this leading offshore energy sector integrator will accelerate global adoption of our innovative technology and support the commercial roll out of our unique vision for tidal energy.”

Luana Duffe, executive vice president, new energy ventures at TechnipFMC, added: “We are very excited to collaborate with Orbital in the tidal energy market. With their technical expertise and differentiated turbine technology and our integrated operating model, we will be able to scale-up our combined offering to deliver more renewable energy to the market.”

The O2 turbine is expected to operate in its current location for the next 15 years.

The floating structure is held on station with a four-point mooring system where each mooring chain has the capacity to lift more than 50 double-decker buses, and electricity is transferred via cables to the local onshore network.

The Orkney-headquartered business, which was founded in 2002, has more than 30 staff, and also has a presence in Edinburgh. It is focused on commercialising its technology through larger-scale projects containing arrays of turbines, both in the UK and abroad.

Last month, Orbital was chosen as one of only 12 companies invited to take part in the prestigious Global Investment Summit (GIS) in London.

The event was staged to showcase the most innovative green technologies and companies already operating in the UK as well as highlight the country’s pioneering work and commitment to net zero.

Scott described being selected to exhibit at the summit as “a huge honour for Orbital Marine Power and a unique opportunity for us to showcase our bold vision that can help turn the tide on climate change to some of the most influential investors in the world”.

The firm’s turbine commenced grid connected power generation at the European Marine Energy Centre in Orkney.

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