There is good news on the horizon for energy contractors, as Sustainable Marine Energy (SME) has purchased 16 “plug ‘n play” turbines from Schottel Hydro. This purchase allows SME to launch its tidal energy project in Orkney without worrying about its commercial viability.
Schottel Hydro is a German manufacturer, and over the next two years the company will deliver 16 instream turbines to SME. Each turbine will have a capacity of 62 kW.
The company is based on the Isle of Wight, but has a long-term contract with the European Marine Energy Centre to construct a platform array just off the Orkney Islands. Hence, the company has an operating base in Kirkwall.
SME conducted sea trials in the Solent during 2015, which saw the rise of its first-ever PLAT-O system with two instream turbines from Schottel. This system is a moored, buoyant platform that is positioned in the water. The company anticipates that its next generation PLAT-O system will have four turbines, and four such platforms will be deployed in 2016/2017. The power output from the array will be about 1 MW, which will be directly fed into Scotland’s power grid.
“This co-operation between SME and Schottel Hydro demonstrates that tidal energy can be produced cost-effectively and it’s great to be working with them to deliver an integrated system to the market,” said SME Managing Director of Sustainable Marine Energy Jason Hayman.
“This multi-turbine array, the first of its kind in the world, will prove that tidal energy devices can be installed in a low cost manner and operated profitably over the long term,” added Hayman. “Commercially viable tidal energy has arrived with this integrated solution from SME and Schottel Hydro.”
“With this system we offer SME a simple ‘plug and play’ solution for their PLAT-O platforms. We are very proud to be part of this project with 16 SIT turbines sold,” stated Schottel Hydro Managing Director Niels Lange.