The 300 tonne turbine body, which has been under construction at TEXO’s Dundee quayside facilities, has been moved out of the fabrication unit in preparation for the final elements of construction, which include the addition of leg sections and the forward and aft hull sections. When complete, the O2 will comprise of a 72m long floating superstructure, supporting two 1 MW turbines at either side for a nameplate power output of 2MW, at a tidal current speed of 2.5 m/s. With rotor diameters of 20m, it will have a 600sq metre rotor area, the largest ever on a single tidal generating platform to date.
The project is running close to original timescales, despite delays caused by the pandemic throughout 2020. TEXO shut down for only eight days, in order to put safety at work protocols in place and has been working hard to ensure that the project has stayed on track. During the course of the construction, an average of 35 experts have been working on construction, with several new jobs created in the area.
“This enhanced tidal turbine design has been an outstanding renewables project for TEXO,” said Gary Mitchelson, Managing Director of TEXO Engineering and Fabrication. “Whilst there have been both technical and pandemic-related challenges, we have used our expertise and experience to keep the project moving, so that we can deliver the finished turbine early in 2021 when it will be moved by water to Orkney and installed in its operational location.”
The next milestone for the project, which has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the FloTEC project (grant agreement No. 691916) and the European Regional Development Fund through the Interreg North West Europe Programme under the ITEG project, is for Orbital to conduct land testing on the finished construction, which is anticipated to take place within the next two months.