FloTEC project poised to drive tidal costs down

SR2000 being launched at Harland and Wolff in May (Photo: Scotrenewables Tidal Power)

The EU-funded Floating Tidal Energy Commercialization (FloTEC) project is expected to advance Scotrenewables’ 2 MW floating tidal turbine technology, the SR2000, while reducing the levelized cost of energy (LCoE) of floating tidal energy.

The project will cover several aspects, such as advanced standard power conversion technology as already used in the offshore wind today, more economical manufacturing and integrated energy storage, according to Marco Thoma, Head of Global Marketing and Sales at ABB.

ABB is one of FloTEC project partners, led by Scotrenewables Tidal Power, in addition to other industrial and research organisations including DP Energy, Harland and Wolff Heavy Industries, the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC), EireComposites, Technology from Ideas, University College Cork, and SKF.

Marco Thoma said: “One aspect that’s being looked into is to reduce costs by moving the electrical equipment, which is currently installed in the hull of the floating turbine, onshore.

“We expect that by installing the electrical equipment, such as converter and switchgear onshore, the structure of the hull can be simplified and installation and maintenance costs can be significantly lowered. This is just one part of the project, which will deliver a number of innovations to reduce the cost of tidal energy.”

The plan is that the 2 MW prototype of the tidal turbine, the SR2000-M2, will be installed alongside Scotrenewables’ SR2000 turbine at the European Marine Energy Centre’s (EMEC) tidal test site in Orkney, where the 4 MW floating tidal array will serve as a demonstration platform for commercially viable tidal stream energy, according to ABB.

Thoma added ABB will provide engineering services and simulation studies that will focus on an optimal design of the electrical drivetrain and the connection to the grid to ensure lowest LCoE and grid code compliance.

As reported earlier, the European Commission’s research and innovation program, Horizon 2020, backed the FloTEC project with €10 million in February this year.

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