Renewable energy produced by mother nature
Renewable energy produced by oceans is harnessed at the first underwater energy park currently tested at the Orkney islands in Scotland. The Spain’s Iberdrola and its affiliate Scottish Power engineers are plunging beneath the ocean’s surface to take advantage of the strong currents.
Team member Álvaro Martínez, head of Iberdrola’s naval department, explained: “We have installed a turbine at a depth of around 40 metres with a one megawatt capacity able to supply 500 homes.”
Cables from the turbine are run up the beach via a purpose built tunnel to the local electricity substation.
“The concept of generating electricity from the natural movement of the tide is still relatively new – and test projects like this are vital to help us understand how we can fully realise the potential of this substantial energy source,” said Keith Anderson, CEO of Scottish Power Renewables.
“The performance of the first HS1000 device has given us great confidence so far.
“Engineers were able install the device during atrocious weather conditions, and it has been operating to a very high standard ever since.
”We have already greatly developed our understanding of tidal power generation, and this gives us confidence ahead of implementing larger scale projects in Islay and the Pentland Firth.
“Scotland has the best tidal power resources in Europe, and that’s why we are seeing world leading technologies tested here.”
The turbine can be monitored from the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) base in Eday, but engineers can also operate and inspect the device from Glasgow using mobile connections and an on-board camera.