Scotland to House Largest Tidal Turbine on the Planet
A 150-tonne tidal stream turbine called AR2000 has been planned for Scotland, the largest to be built anywhere in the world.
The turbine is 25 metres high from the seabed, has rotors 20 metres in diameter and weighs 150 tonnes. Data published by Ocean Energy Europe in April highlighted that Scotland is one of the world leaders in marine energy generation.
However, the energy network is warning rivals that the rest of the world could surpass Europe as a direct result of inadequate public investment.
The US, Canada and China have been catching up with Europe in marine energy development due to higher levels of investment.
The tidal turbine will be part of ‘Project Stroma’, the largest wave power project in the world. The AR2000 is set to be installed at the MeyGen test project, an offshore site between Scotland’s northernmost coast and the island of Stroma, which is also the largest tidal stream project on the planet.
Established in 2010, Project Stroma has demonstrated how innovative tidal technologies can significantly reduce future generation costs. Connecting the turbines to the National Grid is the next phase of the project.
The project is a collaboration of Atlantis Energy and General Electric. Atlantis Energy director of turbine and engineering services Drew Blaxland told New Civil Engineer: “The AR2000 is expected to be the world’s largest single-axis tidal turbine and it will be deployed on the world’s largest tidal power project.
“We want to partner with the world’s best companies; leaders in technology and innovation.
“As the sole supplier of turbine generation equipment to the second phase of the MeyGen Project in Scotland, partnering with General Electric unlocks enormous opportunities to build on 10 years of research and development to now deliver more cost-effective, cleaner tidal power solutions for developers around the world.
“We expect that the AR2000 will become the system of choice for developers of tidal power projects around the world.”
Nova Innovation developed the world’s first fully-operational, commercial, grid-connected tidal energy power off the Shetland Islands.
It has been exporting energy to the Shetland grid since 2016, and hopes to expand to six turbines. In 2017, CommonSpace reported that the European Marine Energy Centre based in Orkney was helping to build test centres in China.
There have also been concerns that Brexit could have a significant impact on tidal energy investment in Scotland with Nova Innovation winning European Commission grant-funding for its Shetland off-grid project.