Abundance closes record £7m investment for Orbital Marine Power project

Green crowd-funding platform Abundance has this week celebrated its largest fund-raise to date, closing a record £7m investment round for Orbital Marine Power.

Orbital Marine Power, which was formerly known as Scotrenewables Tidal Power, will use the funds to build its first production model 2MW turbine - Orbital O2 - a floating tidal turbine platform designed to be towed, installed, and easily maintained.

The company said the project has already secured a number of supporting grants as well as equity funding, including from the Scottish Government. 

Abundance said around 2,300 individuals invested an average of around £3,000 in the company, with over half investing via their ISAs for a tax-free return. The full £7m target was reached on January 1st, marking the largest single funding round to date for the platform.

"2019 promises to be the best year yet for the environmental and social investment sector, and it feels significant that our largest investment to date reached its £7m target on New Year's Day," said Bruce Davis, co-founder and joint managing director at Abundance, in a statement. "The UK can rightly claim to be a world leader in tidal generation technology and our customers have backed it enthusiastically."

Orbital Marine Power plans to use the new investment build its Orbital 02 2MW turbine over the next 12 months, ahead of deployment at Orkney's European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) during 2020.

The Orbital O2 turbine comprises a 73m-long floating superstructure, supporting two 1MW turbines on either side. The company said the new turbine will draw upon the success of its SR2000 turbine, which was launched in 2016 and produced in excess of 3GWh of electricity over its initial 12-month test programme at EMEC.

"We are delighted with this funding result; it's a terrific endorsement of our technology and a clear signal that the UK public is hugely supportive of seeing tidal energy brought into the domestic and global energy mixes," said Andrew Scott, CEO, Orbital Marine Power. "The whole team at Orbital Marine are excited to be moving forwards with this flagship project and deliver the first O2 unit for costs similar to offshore wind and so provide the basis for a new and sustainable industry."

Abundance's Davis added that the latest funding round provided further evidence of the growing maturity of the crowd funding sector and the way in which a wide range of stakeholders can take part in the green energy transition.

"From those who invest the minimum of just £5 to larger investors with tens of thousands to put to work in the green and social economy, each and every one of our customers is playing a part in building a better world while helping achieve their own life goals," he said. "We've got an exciting pipeline of new investments in a wide range of projects and technologies coming up this year. Expect to see more larger offers like this one as issuers take advantage of the change in EU rules on crowdfunding prospectus limits."