Flumill delighted by Orkney support and expertise
11 October 2011
The latest device engineered to harness energy from the sea has arrived in Orkney, with the developers praising local companies involved in playing an important part of the project.
Flumill AS is a Norwegian renewable energy company which has developed a unique system, which they describe as fully patented, robust, environmentally friendly and economically viable, that can harvest electrical power from the natural flow of water.
While most concepts for the production of electricity from tidal currents utilise technology similar to windmills — Kaplan systems — Flumill says it has created a concept that is tuned to the fact that flowing water has completely different properties to air.
The company has designed and developed a system that is lighter, more durable, has no moving parts in the turbine, and is also cheaper than a Kaplan- based system.
Over the next few weeks Flumill will install its first commercial Flumill Tidal System in the European Marine Energy Centre test site, off Eday.
The system arrived at Hatston Pier in late September, where it was to go through final assembly and be commissioned over two to three weeks on the pier.
The system will then be towed, during a suitable weather window, from Hatston to its installation location at EMEC.
The installation is planned to last for three to six months.
Commenting upon the support that Flumill, has had already from local companies Tony Trayner, the president and CEO of Flumill, said: “We at Flumill are particularly delighted with the wide-ranging support and expertise that we have found in Orkney.
“We have utilised the local skills and experience to help with environmental surveying, data interpretation, contruction of the foundations, loadout and handling of the Flumill systems, management of the marine operations and the supply of the installation and diving vessels”
Mr Trayner believes that the installation of the Flumill system at EMEC will be the first time that a tidal energy system produced outside of Orkney will be installed solely by Orkney-based contractors.
The team involved is led by sister companies Orcades Marine management consultants and Aquatera, with key support from: Currie Bros (steel fabrication of the foundations and transport support); Leask Marine Services (installation and dive vessels supply); Heddle Construction (onshore crane support, transport and logistics); Roving Eye enterprises (remotely operated underwater vehicle surveys).
Flumill say that they believe that the utilisation and partnership with the local community is an integral part of a successful future.
“We would also like to thank the staff at EMEC, particularly Eileen Linklater; the staff at the Ayre Hotel who have put up with all of us at Flumill, and all of the other members of the Orkney community we have had the privilege of meeting so far along the way,” said Mr Trayner.