Swiss power company ABB is to boost its renewable energy assets after it led a $12m investment in UK-based Scotrenewables Tidal Power to support the development of a new hydrokinetic device.

The funding will be used to roll out a larger and more advanced tidal energy conversion system known as the SR2000. The floating 2 MW turbine is due for completion next year and will be the first of a several commercial units installed in the Lashy Sound tidal demonstrator project in Orkney, where Scotrenewables is based.

Grant Allen, senior vice-president of ATV, the venture capital arm of ABB, said: “Scotrenewables has designed a remarkably robust hydrokinetic unit which, by nature of its easily accessible floating design, bypasses many of the maintenance issues that confront other marine startups.”

Barry Johnson, chief executive of Scotrenewables, said: “We are delighted to have concluded this major investment deal and to have secured funding for the next vital stage in the development of our innovative floating tidal technology. ABB’s involvement allows us to tackle complex cabling and grid connection challenges, thereby speeding the technology development process.” 

The other investors involved in the ScotRenewables deal are Total New Energies, a unit of oil major Total, and Fred. Olsen, a Norwegian maritime conglomerate.