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Converteam wins 1 MW tidal power contract

Power conversion specialist Converteam will supply electrical components for a tidal turbine in Scotland.

By Isabella Kaminski

Hammerfest Strøm UK awarded Converteam the tidal power contract, which includes provision of a subsea generator and shore-based systems such as a power converter, transformers and switchgear.

The 1 MW tidal turbine, called HS1000, will be deployed at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney, off the coast of North-east Scotland, in late summer 2011.

After an initial test period, Hammerfest Strøm will work with Scottish Power Renewables to install a 10 MW tidal array at Islay in 2013 using the HS1000 generic design. This tidal project will be situated in deep waters (more than 48 m) just south of Port Askaig in the Sound of Islay, between the islands of Islay and Jura off the coast of Western Scotland.

Stein Atle Andersen, Managing Director of Hammerfest Strøm, says: “In 2004, at Kvalsund in Northern Norway, our HS300 tidal turbine (the prototype device to the HS1000) became the first large scale tidal device to be successfully connected to the grid.

“Our criteria is to utilise proven technology albeit in an innovative way whilst at the same time applying conservative safety margins in all aspects of our design. In selecting component and system suppliers we have sought out companies with relevant expertise and a proven track record who have demonstrated their responsiveness to our demanding selection criteria. Converteam clearly fulfils those criteria.”

Steve Raynor, Senior Vice President of Northern Europe for Converteam, says: “The development of tidal power systems poses a series of challenges for their designers. Converteam has many decades of experience in designing electrical equipment and systems for hostile environments, such as those found in our offshore and oil & gas markets, so we know how to mitigate those challenges particularly with respect to reliability and maintenance which are exceptionally demanding in a subsea installation.”

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Wave and tidal energy