THE world’s leading developer of floating tidal stream turbines, has awarded the composite blades contract for the company’s first commercial O2 tidal turbine to

A C Marine & Composites (ACMC).

Orbital Marine Power Ltd (Orbital) signed ACMC to build 10m composite blades for both of the O2’s twin rotors – four blades in total – giving the machine a swept area of over 600 square meters, 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 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 4m on the company’s previous, record-breaking 2MW SR2000 turbine, with the O2 capable of producing electricity for over 1700 UK homes.

Andrew Scott, Orbital’s chief executive officer, 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.”

Alex Newton, director, ACMC 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.

“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 ACMC 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.