Meygen gears up for maximum output

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he MeyGen tidal energy project in the Pentland Firth is about to operate at its full 6 megawatt (MW) capacity.

An Atlantis-supplied 1.5 MW AR1500 turbine has been successfully reinstalled and is undergoing commissioning processes.

The MeyGen array off the Caithness coast also includes three 1.5 MW tidal turbines developed by Andritz Hydro Hammerfest (AHH).

Both technologies evolved from earlier versions tested at the European Marine Energy Centre in Orkney.

Earlier this year, all three AHH turbines were recovered to for onshore inspection and system enhancements derived from lessons learned during the initial period of operations. The Atlantis Resources AR1500 was also retrieved for a full systems inspection.

All four have now been successfully reinstalled, with the MeyGen team describing the latest deployment as being successfully, safely and efficiently executed.

To date, the project has generated more than 2.6 gigawatt hours (GWh) of electricity, with over 800 megawatt hours (MWh) of energy dispatched to grid during the month of September alone.

Following final completion testing, MeyGen Phase 1A is expected within the coming weeks to formally complete its construction phase and enter into a 25-year operational phase.

Tim Cornelius, chief executive officer of Atlantis Resources, said: “The success of MeyGen, the world’s largest tidal stream project, firmly positions the UK as the leader of an industry which could provide sufficient affordable, secure, predictable and clean power to meet 20% of the UK’s future electricity need. 

“Tidal stream power costs are reducing all the time, with a strong trajectory towards achieving parity with established renewables such as offshore wind.

“The industrial opportunities of tidal power for the UK are substantial, but without renewed Government support for tidal stream power, the UK is likely to lose jobs and investment overseas. 

“Now is the time for the current Government to act to ensure that the economic benefits of the tidal stream industry are preserved for the UK economy, and marine power becomes a meaningful part of the UK’s future renewable energy mix.

“The value of predictable renewable generation for grid stability cannot be overestimated. The UK needs a mix of renewables and we are ready to deliver vast quantities of untapped, predictable, reliable, sustainable power generating jobs and investment for this country.”

Frank Armijo, vice president of Lockheed Martin Energy, said: “We are proud of the AR1500’s performance so far, and encouraged by its potential to accelerate the growth of tidal energy.

“The MeyGen project is on track to provide clean, sustainable, predictable power for at least 175,000 homes in Scotland, support local jobs, reduce carbon emissions, and deliver significant, long-term supply chain benefits for the UK economy.”

Further detail is included in a new video which can be found here.

Contact Information

c/o Maureen Shearer, Development Manager, HIE, 14 Queen Street, Kirkwall
KW15 1JE Scotland

T: 01856888710