16.03.10: Hammerfest Strøm selected for Major New Tidal project

Hammerfest Strøm welcomes today’s announcement that ScottishPower Renewables has been awarded a major tidal development site in the Pentland Firth. The tidal site at Ness of Duncansby will consist of up to ninety-five turbines to be supplied by Hammerfest Strøm.


Hammerfest Strøm is already in a Joint Venture with ScottishPower Renewables with an initial priority to install a 1MW pre-commercial turbine at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney Islands. The turbine is expected to be fully operational in 2011. After that the next planned step is to install a 10MW array for ScottishPower Renewables at Islay off the west coast of Scotland. The CEO in Hammerfest Strøm, Stein Atle Andersen, says:


“We see this as a clear message from the market - the demand exists. We will continue the work towards commercialization and aim to develop leading tidal technology with cost-effective energy production, compatible with other renewable energy technologies in the market. “


The technology used in these projects is based on the experience Hammerfest Strøm has from the 300kW prototype. This turbine was first installed in 2003, and was the first of its kind in the world to successfully deliver electricity from the kinetic energy in tidal water to the grid. The turbine was designed for three years’ initial operation, but this proved so successful that it was operated for almost four years before requiring maintenance overhaul. In summer 2009, Hammerfest Strøm reinstalled the turbine to support ongoing technology development. The extensive tests have demonstrated positive results. - “We have increased the energy output and experienced very high reliability after the re-installation, and we will our tests to accelerate the development of this pioneering technology”, says Hammerfest Strøm’s technology director Harald Johansen.


 In addition to the technical tests, an environmental impact study carried out before and after the reinstallation revealed encouraging results in relation to sea mammals and sea birds behavior.


Hammerfest Strøm will establish UK as reference market. A subsidiary, Hammerfest Strøm UK Ltd., is established in Glasgow with the intention to deliver turn-key tidal power farms to the UK and Irish energy markets. Hammerfest Strøm UK intends to deliver the 10MW tidal array to ScottishPower Renewables in 2013 as a first commercial array.


Managing Director in Hammerfest Strøm UK, Fraser McCreadie says : - “Scotland and the UK has major tidal power resources and Government bodies have established significant support schemes to attract developers and make it attractive for customers to participate in renewable energy  technologies. We intend to contribute to keep Scotland in the leading position for marine renewable energy, and to deliver cost effective tidal power solutions to the UK and Irish energy markets.”


The company has received support from both UK and Norwegian authorities, as well as received the VIBES award for the international cooperation with the UK utility ScottishPower Renewables. Earlier this year it was announced that the UK’s Carbon Trust backed the company with £3.9m for its work with HS1000 and the Norwegian enterprise authority Innovation Norway gave about £700,000 for research and development of the pioneering tidal technology.


The company is now working to raise about £12m to prepare for commercialisation. Potential investors include industrial entities, utilities and venture funds.