Abundance, a UK-based direct investment platform, has raised £7m of funding for Scottish tidal energy company Orbital Marine Power (Orkney) to help the latter develop a floating tidal turbine platform.
Formerly, known as Scotrenewables Tidal Power, Orbital Marine will use the capital to develop Orbital O2 2MW turbine, its first production model.
The Orbital O2 2MW turbine is a floating tidal turbine platform that can be towed, installed and maintained easily, as per the tidal energy company.
The company plans to build the floating tidal turbine platform over the coming 12 months, and will deploy it at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney, Scotland in 2020.
According to Orbital Marine, the Orbital O2 turbine is made up of a 73m-long floating superstructure that supports two 1MW turbines on either side.
The company said that the new tidal turbine will build on the success of its SR2000 turbine which was introduced in 2016. SR2000 is said to have generated over 3GWh of electricity over its initial 12-month test program at EMEC.
The tidal energy company claims that its floating turbine makes installation and maintenance simplified by avoiding risky underwater operations and by keeping both costs and downtime low. Further, the floating systems can be deployed over a variety of tidal sites in UK and global waters, said Orbital Marine.
Orbital Marine CEO Andrew Scott said: “We are delighted with this funding result; it’s a terrific endorsement of our technology and a clear signal that the UK public is hugely supportive of seeing tidal energy brought into the domestic and global energy mixes.
“The whole team at Orbital Marine are excited to be moving forwards with this flagship project and deliver the first O2 unit for costs similar to offshore wind and so provide the basis for a new and sustainable industry. This a journey we are now honoured to be taking with thousands of new investors, thanks to Abundance.”
The funding raised for the floating tidal turbine platform by Abundance has come from 2,278 individual investors. The average investment was about £3,000.
Abundance co-founder and joint managing director Bruce Davis said: “2019 promises to be the best year yet for the environmental and social investment sector, and it feels significant that our largest investment to date reached its £7 million target on New Year’s Day.
“The UK can rightly claim to be a world leader in tidal generation technology and our customers have backed it enthusiastically.”