By Scott Wright

TIDAL energy company Orbital Marine Power has enlisted a lead engineering partner to drive down the cost of producing power from its floating turbine technology.

Edinburgh-based Orbital has appointed Black & Veatch under its €5 million (£4.5m) research and development programme to identify and de-risk innovations capable of accelerating cost reductions for tidal energy. The renewables specialist said the four-year programme would build on the two mega-watt tidal turbine, the 02, which was developed off the Orkney coast.

Black & Veatch has created a digital twin of the current Orbital turbine design that will allow the teams to model improvements and identify which advances deliver the lowest cost of producing electricity across the lifecycle of the turbine.

The 02 is capable of powering more than 1,700 UK homes per year.

Andrew Scott, chief executive of Orbital, said: “A central strand to the development of our O2 technology was a vision for the future and to ensure we created a product which is well futureproofed for ongoing innovation.

“So it is great to have started this work in more detail and that the initial assessments from Black & Veatch back up our own projections that the correct configuration of technology can make tidal stream energy competitive with established sectors.”

Robbie Gibson at Black & Veatch, said: “We’re delighted that Orbital has selected us to support their development programme as we see the technology as having huge potential to deliver cost competitive low carbon energy and our team has a huge amount of experience it can bring to assist this journey.”