Blog 21st December 2022

Energy of Orkney

In early November, some members of the LCCC Contract Management Team travelled to the Islands of Orkney, a place that has been at the forefront of innovation in the energy sector for generations, to conduct two site visits. There is a total of 6 CfDs on the Islands of Orkney, comprising of four Remote Island Wind (RIW) and two Tidal Stream CfDs.

For the first site visit Lead Contract Manager, Kevin Mettam, and Contract Manager, Claire Daniels, met with David Hannon, Strategic Projects Director from Orkney Islands Council. Orkney Islands Council were awarded two CfDs in AR4; Orkney Community Wind Farm Project – Hoy and Orkney Community Wind Farm Project – Quanterness, and collectively have an installed capacity estimate (ICE) of 57.6 MW. The site will eventually comprise 6 wind turbines, each with a nameplate capacity of 4.8MW. 

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Kevin and Claire then returned to the mainland to visit the Quanterness site, located approx. 2.7km northwest from the boundary of Kirkwall Town Center. This site was very flat, approx. 0 – 20m above sea level. The facility will also comprise of 6 WTGs, each with a nameplate capacity of 4.8MW, totaling 28.8MW. 

The following day Lead Contract Manager, Alex Graves and Contact Manager, Fattaur Rahman, joined Kevin and Claire to meet with Orbital Marine Power’s Chief Financial Officer, Chris Milne, for a visit to the Orbital offices and workshop. Orbital’s fully operational O2 tidal turbine, the most powerful tidal turbine in the world, extracts the energy from the passing tidal flow and produces enough electricity to power 2,000 homes. Previous visitors to the turbine were the Prince and Princess of Wales last year!

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Orbital was awarded two CfDs in AR4, which contain a total of three tidal turbines and will be located off the coast of Eday, Orkney. Collectively these three turbines have an ICE of 7.2MW of clean green energy, powering up to 10,000 homes. During the site visit the team was shown around their main headquarters, located in the Orkney Innovation Centre, along with their newly acquired workshop units where the turbine operation and servicing activities will be run from, supplementing the existing workshop areas where parts of the turbines are manufactured and assembled.

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Despite being unable to get out and see the O2 tidal turbine, the team received an in-depth brief and certainly got a feel for the enthusiasm and passion that the Orbital employees have for the technology. AR4 was the first allocation round to include tidal stream technology. It is important to Orbital that these projects are successful to ensure future CfD allocations continue to support tidal projects. 

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LCCC will be planning a return visit to Orkney next year to see the progress on all of the CfD projects, and fingers crossed for some better weather allowing the team to get out and see the O2 turbine in action. 

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