Nautricity and First Tech sign tidal turbine deal

Scottish start-up Nautricity, a Scottish tidal-power turbine developer spun out of Strathclyde University, has forged an investment deal with First Tech, a privately owned company based in Aberdeen.

Headed up by chief executive officer Cameron Johnstone from Strathclyde’s Energy Systems Research Unit, Nautricity plans to develop tidal-renewable devices to help meet the global demand for renewable electricity. The team is already in discussions with a number of international organisations looking to deploy their tidal turbine technology over the next 18 months.

Unlike conventional turbines, the innovative Nautricity design uses two rotors that turn in opposite directions, removing the need for expensive, fixed foundations on the sea bed. The company claims that test data has shown that it is potentially the most cost-effective system for all tidal sites with water depths of 8-500m.

Johnstone said: ’The Nautricity turbine doesn’t require expensive moorings or pilings, but instead is connected to the sea bed by a mooring cable and moves with the flow of the tide.’

The company will be based in Glasgow and has already attracted director Dave Pratt, who was brought on board via the university’s Technology Talent Initiative, a project aimed at contracting chief executive designates for prospective spin-out companies. Pratt is aStrathclyde University graduate and has more than 25 years experience in the offshore energy industry.

The technology has been developed and supported by Strathclyde University and has been tested with help from Scottish Enterprise’s Proof of Concept fund.