Orbital, the renewable energy company focused on the development and global deployment of its pioneering floating tidal turbine technology, has reached a significant operational funding milestone.
New investment secured from the Scottish National Investment Bank and individuals via the Abundance Investment platform will finance the ongoing operation of the O2, the company’s 2MW+ floating turbine. These debt facilities will be serviced by the long-term sale of electricity from the turbine, forecast at around 100-gigawatt hours of clean predictable energy, delivered to the UK grid or hydrogen electrolysers over its project life.
The first element of the funding is a £4m investment from the Scottish National Investment Bank. This investment recognises the role tidal technologies can play in delivering clean, predictable energy and aligns with the Bank’s mission to support Scotland’s transition to net-zero energy. The Bank’s investment in this emerging technology also demonstrates its role as a development bank in attracting additional commercial funding to new markets.
The support of the Bank represents an institutional vote of confidence in the company’s trajectory and there is scope for this relationship to develop further as Orbital continues its credible course to delivering multi-device projects in locations across the UK and around the world.
The second element is a £4m 12-year debenture offer which has been funded by over a thousand individual investors from Abundance Investment. It helps to refinance a construction debenture raised through Abundance in 2019, which was the platform’s largest single raise of this type. The success of this approach shows high public support for the company, the technology and tidal stream power, backed up by the delivery of successful returns for construction debenture holders.
Taken together, this important financial milestone demonstrates how the technology is moving towards established infrastructure investment profiles by leveraging significant levels of commercial project debt, further underlining a clear path towards future scale.
The latest funding also supplements recent private sector support for the company. In late 2021, Orbital secured equity investment from TechnipFMC, a leading technology provider to the traditional and new energy industries, with a proven track record of successfully delivering large-scale, fully integrated offshore energy projects to customers around the world.
Andrew Scott, CEO of Orbital Marine Power, said: “Completing operational finance for the first O2 is a significant moment for Orbital. Closing this funding demonstrates strong institutional and public support for the company, our proven technology and our pioneering approach to tidal stream power.
“Tidal stream energy has a vital role to play in delivering clean, predictable energy as a complementary part of the broader clean energy transition. Following today’s announcement, Orbital is well-placed to continue developing further projects, benefiting our wide-reaching UK supply chain.”
Mark Munro, Executive Director, Scottish National Investment Bank, said: “The Bank’s investment in Orbital aligns with our mission to support home-grown innovation and the just energy transition. The company’s unique and scalable approach to tidal stream energy has an important role to play in the journey towards net-zero, and its focus on a domestic supply chain and strong Orkney heritage also has significant potential to benefit Scotland more broadly.”
Bruce Davis, Joint Managing Director, Abundance Investment, said: “Our investors are proud to have mobilised their money to support Orbital Marine Power in their quest to make tidal stream energy a key pillar of the UK energy sustainability and security. From its origins as a world-beating record crowdfunding investment, we look forward to helping to finance a future world-beating industry.”
Image source: Courtesy of Oribital Marine Power
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