1MW Orkney tidal project at full power

A 1MW tidal power device has started full export of power in Scottish waters, paving the way for ScottishPower, to deploy the technology in the “world’s first” tidal array.

The 1MW HS1000 tidal turbine, developed by Norway’s Andritz Hydro Hammerfest, was installed in the fast-flowing waters around Orkney last December. It has now successfully completed a range of tests, and is supplying electricity to the island of Eday, one of Orkney’s northern isles.

The test device in Orkney aims to fully prove that the technology can operate efficiently in Scotland’s fast flowing tides, that monitoring and maintenance operations can be honed and to help drive down costs in operations and installation.

The technology will be used by Iberdrola-owned ScottishPower Renewables as part of the “world’s first” tidal turbine array in the Sound of Islay. The company’s proposal for a 10MW tidal array received planning consent from the Scottish government in March 2011.

Keith Anderson, chief executive of ScottishPower Renewables said: “The concept of generating electricity from the natural movement of the tide is still relatively new – and test projects like this are vital to help us understand how we can fully realise the potential of this substantial energy source.“