Low Carbon Innovation Fund portfolio company Sustainable Marine Energy merges with Schottel Hydro
Sustainable Marine Energy (SME), a portfolio company of the Low Carbon Innovation Fund (LCIF) managed by Turquoise, has merged with the tidal energy operations of Germany-based Schottel Group, a manufacturer of propulsion and steering systems for ships. The decision follows the two parties’ successful collaboration on the development of SME’s PLAT-I floating tidal energy system in both Scotland and Canada. This is good news for SME shareholders as the company now has access to the funding needed to continue its path to a commercially feasible tidal power system.
Turquoise and LCIF have assisted the company in its development from an early stage technology developer to an international tidal power services company. David Casale, representing LCIF on the board of SME, said: “Tidal energy has a role to play in the transition to a low carbon economy and where many other early movers in the industry have encountered significant issues SME has continued to adapt and respond to the market around them for which they are to be congratulated.”
Schottel has transferred all its tidal energy activities, including UK-based Tidal Stream and Canadian unit Black Rock Tidal Power, 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.
SME will 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 including utilising a 5MW berth at the Fundy Ocean Research Center for Energy (FORCE). 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 SIT250 turbines. The platform was deployed in Grand Passage, Nova Scotia, in September 2018 after previously being tested in Scotland.
Following the merger, SME’s management and engineering teams will remain in the UK, while the Schottel Hydro team will continue to be based in Germany and focus on the design of its turbines. Schottel Group will continue to deliver engineering and technical support, and manufacture power take-off systems.
LCIF looks forward to the new SME delivering its exciting and ambitious business plan.