Integrating Tidal Energy into the European Grid


Energy Systems Catapult is partnering on the €11 million Interreg North-West Europe (NWE) project launched in Orkney to develop an all-in-one solution for the generation of clean predictable energy, grid management, and the production of hydrogen from excess capacity.

The Challenge and Opportunity

The cost of pre-commercial demonstration for marine energy is high and investors are reluctant to invest until the technology has been proven in the sea at scale. The Integrating Tidal Energy into the European Grid (ITEG) project sets out to drive down these costs through the development of an integrated hydrogen production solution.

Throughout the project, ITEG will aim to maintain 20 direct jobs and 40 indirect jobs, adopt 3 applied low carbon technologies, reduce GHG by an estimated 3000 tonnes, produce an additional capacity of 2MW of renewable energy and develop the cooperation of research institutions with 15 enterprises.

The Innovation

Led by the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney, the €11m ITEG project brings together partners from across the UK, France, Belgium and the Netherlands to address energy-related carbon emissions in North-West Europe and tackle grid export limitations faced in remote areas such as Orkney.

The project consortium includes EMECOrbital Marine PowerAREVA H2Gen, Energy Systems CatapultEnergy Valley/New Energy CoalitionUniversity of Caen NormandyUniversity of Le Havre NormandyGhent University and the Normandy Development Agency.

Funded by the Interreg NWE programme, part of the ERDF (European Regional Development Fund), the project will deliver an onshore energy management system at EMEC’s Fall of Warness tidal test site, off the northern Orkney island of Eday.

This will support the production of hydrogen using an AREVA H2Gen electrolyser, the first to be deployed in the UK, which will be powered by Orbital Marine Power’ next generation 2MW floating tidal energy converter, the SR2-2000.

The project will benefit from the marine energy expertise of the University of Caen Normandy who will support the development of the advanced energy management system and the University of Le Havre Normandy who will focus particularly on the impacts of converter choices on the quality of energy exchanges taking into account the specificities of hydrogen technologies.

Our Approach

Energy Systems Catapult will be utilising Capabilities from across the business to support the ITEG project including expertise from the Modelling, System Integration, and Infrastructure & Engineering teams.

In particular we will draw on:

  • Local and National Energy Systems Modelling assets for Orkney, UK and European analysis;
  • System Engineering and Integration teams will look at integration between the tidal turbine, electrolyser and local energy system to optimise for technical and economic performance;
  • Renewables & Marine Energy, Networks & Energy Storage and Hydrogen assets with contribute technical expertise; and
  • Consumer Insights will supporting social studies with the local community.