Tidal energy milestone announced
The first power has been produced by a tidal turbine installed in the Pentland First as part of the MeyGen project.
The turbine, supplied by Andritz Hydro Hammerfest, was successfully deployed last week and plugged into a pre-laid cable which connects back to an onshore control centre – from where tidally-generated electricity is fed into the National Grid.
It is the first of four 1.5 megawatt (MW) tidal turbines to be deployed at the MeyGen site. Test programmes at the Orkney-based European Marine Energy Centre played an important role in the development the technology.
Tim Cornelius, chief executive officer of Atlantis Resources, the company leading the project, said: “This is the moment we have been working towards since we first identified the MeyGen site back in 2007.
“I am immensely proud of and grateful for the remarkable team of people who have contributed to this milestone – our suppliers, our funders, our supportive shareholders, and of course the project team, whose commitment, tenacity and belief have been without equal.
“I look forward to bringing more news of the project development over the coming weeks and months as we move into the full operational phase.
“It’s especially exciting to be making this announcement after the first ‘super moon’ in 68 years – those of us with clear skies were able to get a good view of the powerhouse behind tidal energy.
“The success of this first phase is a foundation for the tidal industry to build upon to ensure we develop a new energy sector which can deliver clean, predictable and affordable power from the UK’s own abundant resources. When it comes to energy, we think consumers should be asking for the moon, and we know how to harness it.”
After installation, work has been underway to establish communications with the turbine and verify that the on-board safety and monitoring systems are operational.
The process of powering up the turbine to tune the control system for optimised generation has begun. During this programme, the project is exporting electricity for the first time, using only the tidally driven water flows which rush through the Inner Sound of the Pentland Firth.
This follows an extensive onshore turbine testing and commissioning regime prior to final deployment off the coast of Caithness.