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Sanda Sound

Oceanflow Development has awarded the contract to fabricate and assemble the first community scale grid connected version of its floating tethered tidal turbine to Steel Engineering in Renfrew. Oceanflow plans to deploy this quarter scale Evopod™ unit, in Sanda Sound, South Kintyre in 2014.

Agreement for Lease with The Crown Estate for the test site in Sanda Sound was reached in October of last year. Since then Oceanflow has awarded contracts to Southampton-based Designcraft which is building the turbine blades; Siemens in Germany which is supplying the main gearbox and Optima Control Solutions of Blackburn which is developing the controls using a totally integrated Siemens control system.

The project was successful in winning Scottish Enterprise funding support through its WATERS (Wave and Tidal Energy R&D Support) fund.

Graeme Mackie, Oceanflow's Managing Director, said:

"The award to Steel Engineering is the latest piece in the jigsaw as we get closer to the deployment of our test device in the Sanda Sound. When operational this scaled down version of the Evopod will allow us to test the consistency of tidal power in exporting energy to the grid and how it survives in a harsh environment.

"The beauty of Evopod is that it is easier to install and maintain than devices positioned on the seabed. This means that it is cheaper to install and to operate and any problems can be quickly and easily addressed. If successful, we will look to full scale implementation in other Scottish coastal areas such as the Pentland Firth. We see significant potential for farms of Evopod devices where at full-scale each device could power around 1,000 homes."

Peter Breslin, managing director of Steel Engineering, said:

"We are delighted to have been awarded this contract as this demonstrates the confidence that Oceanflow has in our ability to manufacture renewable products. It is even more important due to the fact that this structure will be producing energy in Scottish waters. We look forward to a long term working partnership with Oceanflow Development and this contract will create and secure employment at our facility in at Westway in Renfrew."

The sub-50kW 4.5 metre diameter turbine, will be connected to the grid at Southend, South Kintyre.

Note to Editors

  1. Oceanflow Development Limited is a Scottish based subsidiary of Oceanflow Energy Limited, a marine renewable technology development company based near Newcastle upon Tyne. The company has followed a staged programme of research and development into tidal stream energy recovery based around its floating semi-submerged turbine support platform that is simpler to install and easier to access for maintenance than more conventional bottom mounted turbines.
  2. The deployment of the community energy scale device in Sanda Sound received a boost in July 2010 when the company was successful in winning Scottish Enterprise funding support through its WATERS (Wave and Tidal Energy R&D Support) fund.
  3. Oceanflow's technology involves a floating low-motion platform that supports a horizontal axis turbine coupled to a generator housed in a watertight nacelle, much like a wind turbine only submerged. The device is tethered to the seabed with an innovative mooring system that ensures that the device always points into the flow whether on the flood or ebb tide. Oceanflow has secured patent rights to its platform and mooring solution both in the UK and overseas. Oceanflow has been testing a 1/10th scale mono-turbine version of its device in Strangford Narrows since 2009.
  4. The key differentiator with Oceanflow's technology over most other tidal turbines is the simplicity of its deployment and recovery. The company recognises that, like offshore wind turbines, the ease of access for maintenance is central to achieving good economic performance with tidal turbines and this has formed the focus of the company's technology development from the outset. For more information on Oceanflow and its tidal technology visit
  5. Steel Engineering has established the first Scottish Skills Training Academy for the renewable sector: TRESTA which opens its doors in August 2012. For further information visit or