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Innovative tidal technology

Orbital Marine Power is leading a pan-European consortium to deliver the FORWARD2030 (Fast-tracking Offshore Renewable energy With Advanced Research to Deploy 2030MW of tidal energy before 2030) project, to accelerate the commercial deployment of floating tidal energy.

Multi-vector energy system

The FORWARD2030 €26.7m project, has received €20.5m of grant support from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme to develop a multi-vector energy system for the future.

This system will combine

Predictable floating tidal energy

Wind generation

Grid export

Battery storage

Green hydrogen production

Reducing cost of tidal energy

The project will see the installation of the next iteration of the Orbital tidal stream turbine, integrated with a hydrogen production facility and battery storage already installed at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney, with an additional storage solution to be defined. Project partners will design options for integrating large scale tidal power into future net zero energy systems, whilst developing environmental monitoring and marine spatial planning tools for large floating tidal arrays.

During the project, Orbital will advance the company’s pioneering floating tidal turbine design, with support from technical partner SKF, who will design and build an optimised fully integrated power train solution, designed for volume manufacture. The partners will deliver several technical innovations targeting increased rated power, enhanced turbine performance and array integration solutions. These innovations will reduce the cost of Orbital’s sector-leading technology even further.

Next generation turbines

Orbital’s turbines will be deployed at EMEC’s Fall of Warness tidal test site off Eday in Orkney, where the company has already installed the O2, the world’s most powerful floating turbine. Once installed next to the O2, the new turbine will be part of the world’s most powerful floating tidal array.

EMEC will host the demonstration, facilitate hydrogen production and energy system optimisation at its tidal test site in Eday. To enhance the test programme EMEC will deliver an integrated monitoring system and develop an operational forecasting tool to optimise access for operations and maintenance.

ENGIE Laborelec will select the additional storage solution, assess large scale integration of offshore energy to the European energy system, develop a smart energy management system and an operational forecasting tool for energy systems management. As well as perform a holistic Condition Monitoring (CM) approach and introduce Current Signature Analysis in the CM. Last but not least ENGIE Laborelec will bring to the partnership their offshore expertise as well as the utility vision.

The University of Edinburgh will deliver techno-economic analysis of tidal energy, and the MaREI Centre at University College Cork will be responsible for addressing marine spatial planning issues for wide scale uptake of tidal energy.

Infrastructure to be integrated in FORWARD2030

Project aim

The aim of the project is to advance the commercialisation and rollout of tidal stream energy, FORWARD2030 aims to deliver a breakthrough in tidal energy that will enable 2030 MW of tidal stream deployment by 2030, ensuring delivery of the Ocean Energy Europe’s 2030 vision high growth scenario. FORWARD2030 also aims to accelerate cost reduction of tidal stream technology, reducing costs by a further 25% by 2024, one year ahead of the European Strategic Energy Technology Plan targets for ocean energy.

Project objectives

The project has five specific objectives:

Reducing Levelised Cost of Energy (LCOE) by 25%

Enhancing environmental and societal acceptance

Complete industrial design for volume manufacture rollout for 10 MW and 100+ MW projects

Reducing life cycle carbon emissions by 33% from 18 gCO2 eq/kWh to 12 gCO2 eq/kWh

Enhancing commercial returns and energy system integration (with battery storage and green hydrogen production)

Project background

Through pan European collaboration, the Horizon 2020 FloTEC project reduced the levelised cost of energy (LCOE) for the Orbital O2.1 by 25%. The FloTEC project ran from 2016 to 2021 and FORWARD2030 is its successor.


This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 101037125.