Orbital Marine Power, based on the Orkney Isles in the North Sea, has launched an investment bid that promises to pay 12-per-cent interest from a major tidal energy project.
Once built, the 2-megawatt Orbital O2 will be installed on the firm’s existing berth at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC).
The high promised interest rate from the Orkney-based tidal turbine firm – formerly Scotrenewables Tidal Power – reflects the project’s risks with no compensation offered if the initiative goes wrong.
The initiative by the ethical investment firm Abundance involves a company called Orbital Marine Power that wants to raise £7 million (€7.94 million) to fund construction of the UK’s first floating tidal stream turbine in commercial production.
The commercial operation is an “optimised variant” of the firm’s 2MW SR2000, which recently completed a hugely successful year’s test at the EMEC, generating over 3GWh (gigawatt hours) of electricity.
Orbital Marine’s chief executive Andrew Scott said: “We want the Orbital O2 to be the springboard for a new, sustainable industry built around floating tidal – one that comes from an idea conceived in Orkney, engineered in Scotland and delivered across a UK supply chain, with the ability to change the world in a better way.”
Orbital Marine Power said its new name was “inspired by the orbital cycle of the moon around the Earth, the reliable provider of tidal energy”.
Scott added: “After a comprehensive exercise, we are really pleased to introduce our new brand identity, and to do so at such an exciting time for the business, as we begin the build of our next generation turbine, the Orbital O2 2MW.”
Investors would receive debentures, debt certificates issued by companies with a 30-month term, offering 12-per-cent interest a year before tax, which would be paid at maturity in June 2021. The minimum investment is just £5.
Orbital Marine Power said an investment of £1,000 would receive £338 interest, plus the original capital back.
However, debentures are not regulated by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme or the Financial Ombudsman Service. The proposal said “there is no guarantee you will receive any interest, or that your capital will be returned”.
Multimillionaire technology developer Matt McGrath was named last month as an investor in the company.
McGrath, who sold his firm Aircraft Medical for £72 million, would reportedly join Orbital’s board of directors, joining his sister Sian George who has chaired the board since early 2016.
A renewables hub: Orkney. Picture credit: Wikimedia