Renewable energy in Eday
Surf 'n' Turf uses electricity made from tidal energy and from wind energy as the input to an electrolyser on Eday, owned by the European Marine Energy Centre.
The tidal energy comes from the EMEC site where turbine manufacturers test their devices in the strong tides of the Falls of Warness. EMEC can host up to eight turbines out at sea. The largest currently deployed is rated at 2MW. As tidal turbine designs continue to advance, EMEC is keen to find ways to harness the energy, even if the electricity grid cannot accept all the power.
The wind energy comes from the community-owned turbine managed by Eday Renewable Energy Ltd to raise funds for the benefit of all the islanders. Commissioned in 2012, the 900kW turbine has at least 20 years of operation left. It benefits from a supremely windy location, but the remoteness does at times limit the amount of power it is allowed to send to the grid.
Both energy sources can therefore experience curtailment, when they could generate more electricity were it not for the weakness of the electricity grid. That's when the EMEC electrolyser can step in. Making hydrogen will consume some of the excess power, allowing it to be stored for later use on demand.