Ground-breaking Pentland Firth power scheme passes milestone

Atlantis chief Tim Cornelius praised commitment and dedication. Picture: Jon SavageAtlantis chief Tim Cornelius praised commitment and dedication. Picture: Jon Savage
Atlantis chief Tim Cornelius praised commitment and dedication. Picture: Jon Savage
Tidal power specialist Atlantis Resources has hailed another milestone for its ground-breaking MeyGen scheme in the Pentland Firth.

The Edinburgh-based group announced yesterday that construction had been completed on Phase 1A of the project with the turbines ­officially entering a 25-year operational period.

With a six-megawatt (MW) rated capacity, MeyGen is the world’s largest tidal stream array.

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The latest development ­follows on from an extended period of operation since the turbines were reinstalled last year. The array has generated about six gigawatt hours of energy to date and last month set a new world record for monthly production from a tidal stream array, generating 1,400MWh.

The firm said that completion of the construction of Phase 1A combined with the ongoing production and reliability levels achieved “help to progress the viability of tidal stream energy as a clean and predictable energy source”. It noted that it had an “international portfolio of opportunities” for further tidal array projects.

The MeyGen project alone has 392MW of further development capacity, with consents and grid connection agreements in place.

Tim Cornelius, Atlantis chief executive and MeyGen chairman, said: “Seeing the MeyGen project move into the operations phase is another major milestone on the path to commercialising tidal stream energy.

“We would like to thank all our funders, contractors and shareholders for their unwavering support and belief in the project over the years. I would especially like to thank Scottish Enterprise, Highland and Islands Enterprise, Crown Estate Scotland, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Morgan Stanley and Engie.

“We would also like to highlight the invaluable contributions made by the two turbine suppliers, the highly skilled local supply chain in Scotland and the MeyGen project team.

“Their commitment and dedication to deliver the project from concept design to ­commercial operation over the years has been truly exceptional.”

He added: “We are incredibly proud of this achievement and this provides a solid platform for building out the full capacity at MeyGen and many other similar sites worldwide.”

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John Robertson, senior ­energy and infrastructure manager at Crown Estate Scotland, the body that manages leasing of the seabed, said: “This is a real success story for MeyGen, for the tidal ­sector and for Scotland.”

In December, Atlantis Resources took a major step to becoming a global player by joining the business empire of billionaire industrial magnate Sanjeev Gupta.

In a reverse takeover, the ­tidal power firm is acquiring Uskmouth power station in south Wales from Simec Energy, a subsidiary of Gupta’s GFG Alliance.

In return, Simec will receive a 49.99 per cent holding in Atlantis Resources, which will be renamed Simec Atlantis Energy.

Atlantis Resources is quoted on the London Stock Exchange’s smaller Alternative Investment Market, and the deal also marked Gupta’s first connection with the publicly listed sector.