Sustainable Marine Energy (SME) is to commence the deployment of an array of its PLAT-O tidal energy systems at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney after securing a £4.5m funding package.

SME’s existing investors have been joined by the German Tidal Turbine Manufacturer Schottel Hydro with Scottish Enterprise increasing its investment to provide the funding required to take the development of PLAT-O through the next phase, to prove the commercial viability for community scale arrays.

SME conducted extensive testing of its first PLAT-O prototype in the Solent, off the Isle of Wight over 2014 and 2015. It has now moved its operational base to Orkney and will be grid connecting the first system at EMEC over the coming months. This deployment will then be followed by a larger, 240kW, platform with Schottel Hydro Instream Turbines (SIT 250), the production of which will commence this summer, also in Scotland.

"EMEC is very much looking forward to seeing SME get into the water at EMEC’s tidal site. It is fantastic to see the support of Scottish Enterprise, showing how investments can be made to bring about renewables projects like this at an important stage in their development" said Neil Kermode, Managing Director of EMEC. "We expect this first phase of grid-connected demonstration in Orkney will generate a great deal more learning to add to previous real-sea experience at the Isle of Wight, and provide a solid base on which to build out with Schottel Hydro. The Orkney supply chain is poised and ready to help make that a success."