The OpenHydro tidal power machines will be used for a 200 megawatt site south of Scotland’s Orkney Islands. The machines will lie beneath the waters and will not be visible from the surface. The first 14-foot test unit produced enough energy to supply 150 average European homes and saved the emission of over 450 tons of CO2 greenhouse gas each year.
OpenHydro’s device is essentially a large underwater turbine with an open center, which the company says minimizes the risk to marine life. The slowly rotating turbine gathers the energy from the powerful surges of water pushed through the channel between the Orkney Islands and the north coast of Scotland with every turn of the tide.