August 03, 2021

Meet O2, the World’s Most Powerful Turbine

A tidal turbine dubbed the “world’s most powerful” by its makers has begun generating green electricity for an archipelago in Scotland.

Back in May, the Orbital O2 – manufactured by Orbital Marine Power, a Scottish engineering firm – sailed out from the town of Dundee after 18 months of assembly.

The 74-metre-long, 680-tonne turbine soon arrived at the European Marine Energy Centre in Orkney, where it was hooked up to an onshore power grid last Wednesday, 28 July.

Using its two submerged blades, the floating O2 extracts energy from Orkney’s shifting currents and tidal flow; this generates electricity, which is transferred from the turbine via a dynamic cable to the seabed, and then through a static cable to the onshore electricity network.

The O2 has the capacity to meet the annual electricity demand of approximately 2 000 homes in the United Kingdom for the next 15 years.

Andrew Scott, CEO of Orbital Marine Power, thanked his team in a press release for their work on the hydropower project, adding: “Our vision is that this project is the trigger to the harnessing of tidal stream resources around the world to play a role in tackling climate change whilst creating a new, low-carbon industrial sector.”

Considering the climatological benefits that O2 has to offer, one can only hope that other parts of the world will turn to hydropower in the not-too-distant future.

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