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Tidal power pioneer awards key commercial contract



Floating turbine developer Orbital Marine Power has awarded a contract for the manufacture of its first commercial O2 tidal turbine in a key stage of commercialising its technology.

A C Marine & Composites will carry out the manufacture of the composite blades at its plant at Gosport in Hampshire.

The contract will see AC Marine build 10 metre composite blades for both of the O2’s twin rotors (four blades in total) giving the machine a swept area of more than 600 square metres, the largest ever on a tidal turbine.

The O2, capable of generating over 2MW from tidal stream resources, will become the world’s most powerful tidal turbine when it enters operation later next year (2020) as part of a long-term project at the European Marine Energy Centre, Orkney.

Improvements in Orbital’s platform design have allowed for a rotor diameter increase of four metres on the company’s previous, record breaking, 2MW SR2000 turbine, with the O2 capable of producing electricity for more than 1,700 UK homes.

 Orbital chief executive officer Andrew Scott said: “Gosport’s A C Marine & Composites have an impressive track record in delivering high quality composites solutions to a range of sectors including marine energy.

“We are delighted that they are supporting the commercialisation of our technology through the O2 project.

“We believe this contract demonstrates the strong potential for the UK’s advanced materials sector to supply high value components to the emerging, global tidal stream market.”

A C Marine director Alex Newton said: “We are extremely proud to have been awarded this contract by Orbital Marine so becoming part of the wider UK supply chain for the O2 project.

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“Our structured production philosophy and in-house resin infusion technology will no doubt add value to this commercial tidal stream project.

“This is also a great opportunity for A C Marine & Composites to work on a project that will have a positive impact on the environment, whilst reaffirming the UK’s commitment to renewables.”

Orbital’s contract with ACMC follows recent contract awards as part of the overall build programme for the O2; these include the O2 platform manufacturing contract to TEXO Group in Dundee and an anchors contract to FAUN Trackway in Anglesey.



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