Atlantis, a global leader in the tidal power sector, is delighted to announce that first power has been produced from the MeyGen project site in the Pentland Firth, Scotland. The turbine, supplied by Andritz Hydro Hammerfest (AHH), was successfully installed last week and plugged into the pre-laid cable which connects back to the onshore control centre and grid export point, which has already been commissioned and energised.
Both the turbine and cable installation works were completed by James Fisher Marine Services Limited, using the Olympic Ares. The turbine installation followed a successful offshore campaign in October during which GeoSea NV installed all four foundation structures using its jack-up vessel, the Neptune.
Over the past few days, AHH has been working to establish communications with the turbine and verify that the on-board safety and monitoring systems are operational. Now, working with ABB Limited as the suppliers of the onshore frequency converters, the AHH team has begun the process of powering up the turbine to tune the control system for optimised generation. 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.
This turbine is the first of four 1.5MW tidal stream turbines to become operational at the site for the first 6MW phase of a total build out of almost 400MW. Construction for the next 6MW phase, which benefits from a €17 million grant from the EC's NER300 fund, is due to commence next year.
Atlantis is the indirect majority owner of the MeyGen project through its 92% shareholding in Tidal Power Scotland Limited, which owns 83.5% of MeyGen Limited alongside Scottish Enterprise (16.5%). The first phase of the MeyGen project has been funded through a combination of debt, equity and grants from Atlantis, Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, The Crown Estate and the former Department for Energy and Climate Change.
Atlantis CEO Tim Cornelius said:
"This is the moment we have been working towards since we first identified the MeyGen site back in 2007, and 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 on the morning after the first "super moon" in 68 years - last night, those of us with clear skies were able to get a good view of the powerhouse behind tidal energy, and be reminded that even in times like these there are still predictions we can rely on.
"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."
Atlantis looks forward to updating the market again in December on project progress.