Integration of tidal energy into an island energy system – A case study of Orkney islands

Mohammed A. Almoghayer*, David K. Woolf, Sandy Kerr, Gareth Davies

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)
46 Downloads (Pure)


Islands energy systems are often separated from mainland energy markets. Islands routinely rely on a single imported source of energy, which exposes islands to economic risks, and an increased likelihood of system failure. Integrating renewable energy into island energy systems can provide diversity of energy supply and improved system efficiency, potentially yielding cheaper energy for island communities. However, this requires an appropriate energy extraction strategy in combination with sufficient storage to overcome the intermittent nature of the renewable energy resources. This paper investigates the most cost-effective method to integrate tidal energy into the Orkney energy system. It explores various approaches to achieving efficient energy extraction. Different energy generation patterns are examined to find the generation strategy that best fits the energy demand pattern of the isles, without conflicting with the existing supply. This study demonstrates the potential of integrating tidal energy into an island energy system without the need for expensive grid upgrades. It shows that limiting the capacity of the tidal device, and maximising the generation time at the most frequent flow velocities, increases the capacity factor of the installed system. This strategy improves the economic viability and commercial competitiveness of tidal energy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number122547
Early online date11 Nov 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2022


  • Base-load generation
  • Islands energy systems
  • Limiting turbine capacity
  • Tidal energy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Modelling and Simulation
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Pollution
  • Energy(all)
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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