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Sat June 19 2021

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Tidal turbine reinstalled at Scottish test site

26 Apr Spanish tidal energy developer Magallanes Renovables has returned to the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) tidal test site in Orkney for the reinstallation of its turbine following upgrades.

Magallanes’ second-generation 2MW tidal platform, ATIR, was reinstalled last week following removal for maintenance and optimisation. The Magallanes team worked in collaboration with Orkney-based marine service provider Leask Marine, along with the Orkney Harbour Authority tug Thor, to install the platform in an operation lasting eight hours.

In the coming weeks, the ATIR will be connected to the national electricity grid.

Magallanes Renovables has been developing its tidal technology for over 12 years and tested a scale version of the ATIR at EMEC’s Shapinsay Sound test site in 2014.

The 2MW ATIR platform was initially launched in 2017 and underwent testing in Vigo, Spain, prior to being installed and connected to the national grid at EMEC in Orkney in 2019. Whilst at EMEC the ATIR completed a structured test programme to optimise the system including validation, generation and operational maintenance tests were carried out.

In order to optimise the performance of the ATIR, Magallanes transported the platform to the dry dock of Dales Marine in Edinburgh in 2020 for maintenance, supported by GAP, Leask Marine, Briggs Marine and Forth Port. The maintenance involved having to position the platform horizontally in the sea by using a system of buoys to fit into the dry dock via the locks (see picture below). During this positioning operation in Leith, maintenance tasks were carried out to optimise the platform, including anti-fouling and performance verification, to allow the platform to operate more efficiently.

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Alejandro Marques de Magallanes, CEO and founder of Magallanes Renovables, said: “We are very pleased to have demonstrated that it is possible to build, launch, install, operate and maintain a tidal platform, in order to generate energy from tidal currents. We are delighted to again have successfully reinstalled the ATIR at EMEC.

“This is a great achievement for our dedicated team and we are now ready to take the next step to start generating electricity into the national grid in the near future.”

EMEC’s operations and technology director, Jonathan Lindsay, added: “We are delighted to welcome Magallanes back to EMEC following testing in 2019. Their innovation, hard work and determination to drive forward the development of their tidal technology is admirable and we wish them well in their next phase of testing.

“Here in Orkney we are continuing to drive forward and support the development of marine renewable technology, with more marine energy devices having been tested at the EMEC than at any other location in the world.

“With innovative companies like Magallanes choosing to demonstrate technologies in Scotland, it has led to the development of the world’s most experienced supply chain for marine energy. This successful operation has highlighted the skills of Leask Marine and our Local Harbour Authority tugs.”

The testing of the ATIR is funded by the Interreg OceanDEMO and MaRINET2, part of the EU’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.

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