September 16, 2013

MeyGen Gets Go Ahead for 86MW Tidal Energy Project

According to a MeyGen news release this morning:

MeyGen Ltd. has been awarded consent by the Scottish Government for an 86MW tidal energy project, following the completion of the statutory approval process with the regulator Marine Scotland.

The project is located in the Inner Sound of the Pentland Firth off the north coast of Caithness, home to one of Europe’s greatest tidal resources. It is the largest tidal stream energy project to be awarded consent in Europe and constitutes the first phase of a site that could eventually yield up to 398MW.

MeyGen plans to build an initial demonstration array of up to 6 turbines, with construction starting in early 2014 and turbines commissioned in 2015. This initial array will provide valuable environmental data for the subsequent phases and the wider tidal energy industry.

Here's what one of the AR1000 turbines that will be used for the project looks like:

Atlantis Resources AR1000 tidal turbine (Image Atlantis)

Atlantis Resources AR1000 tidal turbine (Image Atlantis)

According to the BBC:

[The project] will begin with a 9MW demonstration project of up to six turbines, with construction expected to take place on a phased basis until 2020. When fully operational, the 86MW array could generate enough electricity to power the equivalent of 42,000 homes. That is the equivalent of 40% of homes in the Highlands, the Scottish government said. It will be the first commercial deployment of tidal turbines in Scottish waters.

Scottish-registered company MeyGen is a joint venture between investment bank Morgan Stanley, independent power generator International Power and tidal technology provider Atlantis Resources Corporation. Its tidal energy project is located in the Inner Sound of the Pentland Firth off the north coast of Caithness. The firm has agreed a 25-year lease with the Crown Estate for an area encompassing about 1.4 square miles (3.5 square kilometres) of fast flowing water between the island of Stroma and the north easterly tip of the Scottish mainland.

Here's what an AR1000 drive train looks like in action whilst being tested at the UK's National Renewable Energy Centre (NaREC) :

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