Atlantis ties up loose ends before 2019

CEO Tim Cornelius praised the tidal energy offshore construction team. Picture: Jon Savage.
CEO Tim Cornelius praised the tidal energy offshore construction team. Picture: Jon Savage.
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Simec Atlantis Energy has finished the year with several loose ends tied up and can now focus on progressing a number of areas in 2019, according to an analyst following the latest news from the Scots sustainable energy specialist.

Atlantis said yesterday that two turbines at the pioneering MeyGen tidal energy project in the Pentland Firth have been redeployed, as the initiative that is the largest of its kind globally continues to set new records. The business, which has offices in Edinburgh’s Fountainbridge, said its offshore construction team has redeployed the two 1.5-megawatt (MW) machines that had been removed for servicing in October.

All four turbines are now reconnected to the grid, Atlantis added. Since their reinstallation, the project has exceeded 10,000 megawatt hours of cumulative generation and “continues to set new records for tidal stream arrays,” MeyGen added.

Drew Blaxland, director of Atlantis turbines and Engineering Services division, said: “Yet again, we have demonstrated that we can work in all weather conditions, deploying turbines quickly and most importantly, safely. I am immensely proud of our team, our operational partners and the crew onboard the Seabed Stingray. “

Also commenting was Simec Atlantis chief executive Tim Cornelius, who said Blaxland and his team have repeatedly shown that turbine operations can be carried out safely at all times of the year.

Cornelius added: “In my opinion, they are the world’s leading tidal energy offshore construction team and the advances they have made in subsea intervention technology and methodologies will contribute significantly to the steep cost reductions we expect to see in the next phase of tidal arrays to be built in the UK, France, Canada and Asia.”

Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Adam Forsyth said the redeployment “again shows that Simec Atlantis can service its tidal technology without incident, which we see as de-risking these processes”.

He added that overall, Atlantis “has finished the year with a number of loose ends successfully tidied up”, and can progress in several areas next year.

As well upgrading MeyGen upgrade, these include developing an initial French project, looking to develop a large-scale venture off the northern coast of the country, moving ahead with Uskmouth in Wales that is being converted from a coal-fired power plant to generate electricity from waste-derived energy pellets, and bringing the Green Highland hydro assets into the portfolio.

Forsyth also noted that Atlantis has completed the sale of the stake in its Canadian joint venture, which will see the equivalent of £235,000 cash returned, and enables Atlantis to focus on nearer-term opportunities, “notably in the Simec group pipeline”.

Atlantis revealed earlier this month that it is to receive a €1 million (£903,000) funding boost for MeyGen, enabling it to enhance the technology used in the project and facilitate its ambitious cost-reduction targets.

Cornelius announced plans in October to expand the MeyGen site by adding two new turbines to reduce costs and boost site capacity to 400MW.