Orbital to lead pioneering FORWARD-2030 tidal energy project to accelerate the commercial deployment of floating tidal energy

The innovative Scottish technology developer, Orbital Marine Power (Orbital) will lead a pan-European consortium to deliver the €26.7m FORWARD-2030 project, set up to accelerate the commercial deployment of floating tidal energy.

The FORWARD-2030 project consortium will receive €20.5m of grant support from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme to develop a multi-vector energy system for the future. This system will combine predictable floating tidal energy, wind generation, grid export, battery storage and green hydrogen production.

The project will see the installation of the next iteration of the Orbital turbine, integrated with a hydrogen production facility and battery storage at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney. Project partners will design options for integrating large scale tidal power into future net zero energy systems, whilst developing environmental monitoring and marine spatial planning tools for large floating tidal arrays.

Orbital will act as project coordinator as well as lead technology developer for the FORWARD-2030 project.

During the project, Orbital will advance the company’s pioneering floating tidal turbine design, with support from technical partner SKF, who will design and build an optimised fully integrated power train solution, designed for volume manufacture. The partners will deliver several technical innovations targeting increased rated power, enhanced turbine performance and array integration solutions. These innovations will reduce the cost of Orbital’s sector-leading technology even further.

The next generation turbine will be deployed at EMEC’s Fall of Warness tidal test site off Eday in Orkney, where the company has already installed the O2, the world’s most powerful floating turbine, this summer. Once installed next to the O2, the new turbine will be part of the world’s most powerful floating tidal array.

EMEC will host the demonstration, facilitate hydrogen production, deliver a comprehensive environmental monitoring programme, and develop a live environmental monitoring system and test programme.

LABORELEC will assess large scale integration of tidal energy to the European energy system, develop a smart energy management system and an operational forecasting tool. The University of Edinburgh will deliver techno-economic analysis of tidal energy, and the MaREI Centre at University College Cork will be responsible for addressing marine spatial planning issues for wide scale uptake of tidal energy.

The integration within a single system of tidal and wind energies, as well as storage by batteries and hydrogen makes FORWARD 2030 a world first.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 101037125.

Orbital Marine Power Ltd is an innovative Scottish engineering company, headquartered in Orkney, and focused on the development of a tidal energy turbine technology capable of producing a dramatic reduction in the cost of energy from tidal currents.

Learn more about the project here: Orbital to lead pioneering FORWARD-2030 tidal energy project. - Orbital Marine

Lorna Murphy - Scotland Europa - September 29, 2021