Strategy & management

Construction on next phase to begin later this year

The fourth and final turbine in the first phase of the MeyGen tidal stream project in Scotland has been installed and has started generating power.

Atlantis Resources’ 1.5MW AR1500 turbine joins three 1.5 MW Andritz Hydro Hammerfest turbines, which together form phase 1A of the project. The turbines began exporting power to the grid in November last year.

The AR1500 was designed under contract by Lockheed Martin and was initially tested and commissioned at the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult’s facility at Blyth near Newcastle.

The turbine was then shipped to the MeyGen site in the Pentland Firth via the project’s operations and maintenance base at the Nigg Energy Park near Inverness. The turbines and cables for phase 1A were installed by James Fisher Marine Services and the foundations built by GeoSea NV.

The project could eventually see the installation of up to 398MW of tidal stream generation over the course of five phases.

Construction is due to begin later this year on phase 1B, which will feature four more 1.5MW turbines with “innovative foundations”. The total capacity will then grow to 86MW with the installation of a further 49 turbines for phase 1C at an estimated cost of £420 million.

Phase 2 will bring the installed capacity up to current grid connection limit of 252MW before the remaining 146MW allowed by the site lease is deployed in phase 3.

MeyGen is jointly owned by Tidal Power Scotland (83.5 per cent) and Scotland’s economic development agency Scottish Enterprise. Atlantis Resources owns a 92 per cent stake in Tidal Power Scotland.

The project was awarded by a €20.3 million by the European Commission in January.