Scottish engineering firm Orbital Marine Power said it had received £8m to operate its O2 tidal turbine. The company said in a statement that the £4m came from the Scottish National Investment Bank, which the Scottish Government set up in November 2020.
CNBC reported that the remaining £4 million came from the investment platform Abundance Investment through more than 1,000 individual investors.
“These debt obligations will be serviced through a long-term sale of electricity, which is projected to be around 100 GWh over the life of the project,” Orbital said.
According to the company, the “world’s most powerful tidal turbine” uses 10-meter blades and began generating electricity last year.
Scotland has long been associated with oil and gas production in the North Sea, but in recent years it has also become a hub for companies and projects focused on tidal energy and offshore energy in general.
Orkney, an archipelago in the waters north of the Scottish mainland, is home to the European Marine Energy Center (EMEC). At EMEC, wave and tidal energy researchers can test and evaluate their technologies on the high seas. Orbital’s O2 turbine is located at the EMEC site.
Last year, 2.2 MW of tidal current power was installed in Europe, compared to 260 kW in 2020 and 681 kW wave power, three times more than in 2020. While the potential of offshore energy is generating hype, the overall size of tidal and wave projects remains very small compared to other renewable energy sources (RES).