Fresh milestone for MeyGen tidal power project

Tidal power specialist Atlantis Resources said its pioneering MeyGen project in the Pentland Firth has taken a major step forward with the first installed turbine now operating at full power.

The firm, which has its head office in Edinburgh, revealed the news about the Andritz Hydro Hammerfest turbine, which can generate 1.5 megawatts of power at certain water speeds.

Once the scheme is completely operational, it is set to use up to 269 turbines producing enough energy to power 175,000 homes, and Atlantis said the latest development is “significant as it allows for validation of the power curve models which underpin the financial assumptions of the project”. It also deemed it “another significant de-risking event for the industry”.

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MeyGen project director David Taaffe said: “It is extremely satisfying to see all of the meticulous planning and preparation come to life and be validated in the field.

“Andritz has done a wonderful job in commissioning this system, drawing on many years of operational experience. This will be one of many milestones to come as we now build on this successful start and continue to roll out the world’s largest tidal power array. It is an important day for my entire team and all of our contractors.”

Atlantis said last month that power had been generated for the first time by the project, starting to supply the National Grid, with the first of four 1.5MW turbines recently installed as part of the initial phase.

Tim Cornelius, chief executive of Atlantis, said earlier this year that the firm was “very much now setting about making Scotland to tidal power what Silicon Valley is to the tech industry”.