Scottish tech developer Orbital Marine Power is set to head the FORWARD-2030 EU tidal project worth €26.7 million (£22.7m).
The aim of the project, set to run from 2021 to 2025, is to accelerate commercial deployment of floating tidal energy, whilst developing a “multi-vector energy system” in the future, Orbital said.
With €20.5m (£17.4m) funding from the EU Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, the new system will combine floating tidal energy, wind generation, grid export, battery storage and green hydrogen production.
The company will install the latest version of its Orbital turbine, which will be integrated with a hydrogen production facility and battery storage.
Alongside this rollout, project partners will design options for integrating large scale tidal power into future net-zero energy systems, whilst developing environmental monitoring and marine spatial planning tools for large floating tidal arrays.
Commenting on the award, Oliver Wragg, Orbital’s Commercial Director said: “This endorsement of the Orbital technology by the European Commission is a huge vote of confidence in our capability to deliver commercially viable tidal energy.
“We now have a focused and highly experienced consortium dedicated to the delivery of tidal energy and committed to accelerating its future uptake. This alignment of interest sets FORWARD-2030 on course to have a meaningful impact as we build towards large scale commercially viable tidal energy projects.
“Orbital has consistently delivered step changes in cost reduction for the tidal energy sector and the FORWARD-2030 project will enable us to take that next step.”
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The new turbine will be deployed at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) test site off Eday in Orkney, where the firm recently announced installation of its O2 floating turbine.
Orbital said that, once installed next to the O2, the new turbine will be “part of the world’s most powerful floating tidal array”.
Rob Flynn, Commercial Manager of EMEC said: “FORWARD-2030 will show what the energy system of the future looks like by combining offshore renewable generation, with onshore wind and EMEC’s onshore hydrogen and storage facilities – all done in the novel context of an island grid.
“The project represents a major step forward for the commercialisation of tidal energy and we are delighted it has received this significant stamp of approval from the European Commission.”
Remi Gruet, CEO of Ocean Energy Europe, added: “FORWARD 2030 showcases the extraordinary value of continued EU-UK collaboration in ocean energy. This pan-European team saw off stiff competition and will now deliver the world’s first floating tidal farm – an important win for the entire sector.
“With UK participation in Horizon Europe now confirmed, I’m looking forward to even more winning partnerships over the next seven years.”