Clean sweep for UK projects in Horizon tidal call

Two UK projects were successful in the EU’s Horizon Europe programme, aimed at unlocking the full potential of tidal stream energy. SEASTAR and EURO-TIDES bring two of the most innovative tidal stream projects ever deployed to the UK, accelerating the commercialisation of this entirely predictable and renewable energy resource.

Horizon Europe is the EU’s flagship innovation programme and world’s largest transnational research and innovation scheme. Its recent call for submissions included the development of two tidal stream projects. These were both successfully secured by projects led by UK-based Nova Innovation and Orbital Marine Power.

Nova Innovation’s SEASTAR project secured €20M to deploy a 4MW tidal stream energy array in Orkney. With 16 turbines, the project will see the largest number of tidal turbines in an array anywhere in the world. This builds on Nova’s experience in delivering the world’s first offshore tidal array in Shetland, which has been powering homes and businesses for more than seven years.

SEASTAR will support the transition to mass manufacturing and deployment at scale of Nova’s tidal turbines. This presents significant opportunities for UK supply chains. Nova Innovation has successfully deployed its turbines, with over 80% UK supply chain content. Research by the University of Edinburgh has highlighted that with the right policy framework the tidal stream could deliver £17bn Gross Value Added to the UK economy by 2050.

Orbital Marine Power’s EURO-TIDES project will focus on accelerating the commercial deployment of its pioneering floating tidal stream technology, delivering a 9.6MW floating tidal turbine array.

EURO-TIDES will deliver a step change in the wider commercialisation programme for the scale deployment of Orbital’s leading technology through targeted work to demonstrate manufacturing solutions compatible with series production, optimisation of long-term operation and maintenance programmes while also accumulating accelerated operational performance data around Orbital’s technology.

These two separate projects will strengthen the UK’s world leading position in the development and deployment of tidal stream technology, made possible by the UK’s ongoing participation in Horizon Europe.

Simon Forrest, CEO of Nova Innovation, said:

“This is a huge win for Nova and a huge vote of confidence for the tidal energy sector. To be awarded this flagship European tidal energy project with turbines made and deployed here in Scotland, using a pan-European supply chain, is testament to our track record of success.

The SEASTAR project will see more turbines installed than all other current deployments worldwide combined. This will enable Nova to start mass manufacturing, deploy at scale and continue to drive down the cost of tidal energy.”

Andrew Scott, CEO of Orbital Marine Power, said:

Orbital is committed to ensuring tidal stream energy makes a material contribution to decarbonising energy systems while supporting a just transition through the creation of a new industrial sector. The endorsement that comes from this selection is a huge boost to that objective while also enabling us, and our project partners, to accelerate that positive vision. We are looking forward to moving forwards with EURO-TIDES at pace early in 2024.”

 Richard Arnold, Policy Director of the MEC said:

“The UK’s participation in Horizon Europe is critical to accelerating innovation in the UK’s marine energy industry. Recent research by the University of Edinburgh has demonstrated that realising the UK’s tidal stream potential in a cost-effective way is significantly helped by improving learning rates. Innovation funding is key to this.

“The UK Government should seek to build on the fantastic news that Horizon Europe will be supporting two UK projects and ensure that there are opportunities for tidal stream innovation funding following the conclusion of its Energy Innovation Needs Assessment process. This is particularly pressing given the system benefit that an entirely predictable renewable energy technology will deliver.” 

SEASTAR will be delivered by Nova Innovation in partnership with the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC), Ocean Energy Europe (OEE), Leask Marine, Wood Group, SKF, DLA Piper, Renewable Risk Advisers, Primo Marine, Wave Venture and Nature Positive.

EURO-TIDES will be delivered by Orbital Marine Power, in partnership with EMEC, Center for Wind Power Drives (CWD) of RWTH Aachen University, Energie De La Lune and the University of Edinburgh.

© UK Marine Energy Council (UKMEC)

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