Orbital Marine Power has appointed Black & Veatch as Lead Engineering Partner to support technology optimisation and cost reduction engineering under the company’s €5 million R&D programme. Under a four-year project, Black & Veatch will help Orbital to identify and de-risk innovations capable of accelerating cost reductions in the company’s unique floating tidal turbine technology, the O2.

Black & Veatch has already created a digital twin of Orbital’s current turbine design that allows the teams to model turbine improvements and identify which advances deliver the lowest levelised cost of energy across the entire turbine lifecycle.

Andrew Scott, CEO, Orbital Marine Power said: “A central strand to the development of our O2 technology was a vision for the future and to ensure we created a product which is well futureproofed for ongoing innovation. So it is great to have started this work in more detail and that the initial assessments from Black and Veatch back up our own projections that the correct configuration of technology can make tidal stream energy competitive with established sectors.”

The project will be supported by the INTERREG France (Channel) England TIGER project. It will also engage with TIGER project partners and wider industry experts to advance leading optimisations for the O2 platform. The project will also look to other technology sectors for cost reduction opportunities, including wind energy, where increases in blade lengths and component reliability have delivered plummeting generating costs. The innovations will be rolled out on a continuous basis on future O2 units as Orbital transitions to becoming a global supplier of low-cost tidal energy systems, Orbital said.