January 21 (Renewables Now) - Germany-based Schottel Group, a manufacturer of propulsion and steering systems for ships, has merged its tidal energy operations into Edinburgh-headquartered Sustainable Marine Energy Ltd (SME).
The decision follows the two parties’ successful collaboration on the development of the PLAT-I floating tidal energy system in both Scotland and Canada, a press statement says.
Schottel announced it has transferred all its tidal energy activities, including UK-based TidalStream Ltd and Canadian unit Black Rock Tidal Power Inc (BRTP), to SME. In return, the German group has received an equity stake that makes it SME’s largest shareholder.
“Following a comprehensive, strategic business and technology review, we believe that SME is best placed to deliver commercially viable tidal energy systems to the market,” stated Andreas Block, CEO of the Schottel Group. Jason Hayman, managing director of SME, added that the company now has all the resources it needs to launch an integrated product, plus a pipeline that enables the commercialisation and roll-out of its solutions.
The plan is for SME to offer its own platform and anchoring products along with Schottel’s tidal turbine technology. In addition, the company will continue to develop projects in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia. This includes utilising the 5-MW berth at the Fundy Ocean Research Center for Energy (FORCE) that was awarded to the German group in 2014.
The immediate focus of the combined business will be on improving the floating PLAT-I tidal energy system, which is equipped with four Schottel Hydro SIT 250 turbines. This platform was deployed in Grand Passage, Nova Scotia, in September 2018 after previously being tested in Scotland. It is currently being used as a test bed for environmental monitoring systems.
Following the merger, SME’s management and engineering teams will remain in Edinburgh, while the Schottel Hydro team will continue to be based in Germany and focus on the design of its turbines. Schottel GmbH will continue to deliver engineering and technical support, and manufacture power take-off systems. BRTP will change its name to Sustainable Marine Energy (Canada) Ltd and will lead the delivery of projects in North America.