Orbital Marine Power Ltd (Orbital), working with Thompsons of Prudhoe and Port of Blyth, have decommissioned their prototype 2MW SR2000 floating tidal turbine. Heavy lift specialists Mammoet managed the tandem lift of the 516-tonne structure out of the water and onto the Blyth quayside in what was the port’s largest heavy lift to date.
Orbital are reclaiming key components and elements of the turbine to carry out engineering inspections, with the remainder of the structure to be dismantled for recycling and disposal. The unit was towed from Orkney to the Northumberland facility by Leask Marine using the C-Odyssey vessel.
The final phase of the full-scale demonstration project follows a hugely successful test programme which saw over 3,250 MWh of electricity generated by the SR2000 at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney. Building on the success of the SR2000 Orbital are currently in the process of manufacturing their 2MW O2 turbine to replace the SR2000 at EMEC early next year. The O2 incorporates key innovations and lessons from the SR2000 that, on a like-for-like basis, will enable a 35% improvement in yield at EMEC.
Speaking about the end of the SR2000 programme Andrew Scott, Orbital CEO, said: “The SR2000 was an industry break-through and its success is a testimony to the team who engineered, built and operated it. Not only did it validate the conceptual benefits of our floating tidal solution, but it re-set the performance bar for the sector. A truly outstanding platform for us to be building on with our new O2 turbine. I would also like to thank Thompsons of Prudhoe and Port of Blyth for planning and executing the decommissioning of the SR2000 with precision and professionalism.”
Nick Shilling, Managing Director of Thompsons of Prudhoe, said: “We are delighted to be given the opportunity to decommission the SR2000 on behalf of Orbital Marine Power. This Project gives us a strong platform to demonstrate and promote our capabilities to the offshore industry for all future onshore dismantling and waste disposal requirements”.
Alan Todd, Port Director of Port of Blyth, said: “Completing the largest project lift the Port has ever planned and executed highlights the skill and competence of the Port of Blyth’s engineering and operations teams. Although we have a wealth of experience in relation to heavy project lifts, the tidal turbine brought its own challenges and required exceptional planning and a well-coordinated operation. The project also highlights both the strength and potential of our new decommissioning partnership with Thompsons of Prudhoe.”