£1.5m boost for tidal power pioneer Atlantis' MeyGen project

Sustainable energy specialist Simec Atlantis Energy, which has offices in Edinburgh’s Fountainbridge, has announced that its flagship MeyGen project has been awarded £1.5 million to fund the ongoing expansion of what it says is the world’s largest tidal stream power project.

CEO Tim Cornelius said the grant helps fund MeyGen's ongoing expansion. Picture: Jon Savage.

The business – led by Australian Tim Cornelius – said the sum will be used to design, procure, install, connect and commission the subsea hub and associated infrastructure, “which is a key enabler for future array phases, as it will deliver cost reductions in power production by connecting multiple turbines to a single export cable”.

The sum is from the Scottish Government’s £10m Saltire Tidal Energy Challenge Fund, which supports the commercial deployment of tidal energy generation in Scottish waters.

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Atlantis added that the grant award will prove the application and benefits of subsea hub for the global tidal power industry. “Once proven, the hub will be made available to project developers to help to achieve cost-competitive commercial deployment across the sector.”

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Because of the grant award, Atlantis' Turbine and Engineering Services (ATES) arm will be awarded a £2.4m engineering, procurement and construction contract for delivery and installation of the subsea hub by the MeyGen project company onsite in the Pentland Firth. The subsea hub, which will be assembled and tested in Scotland, will be installed later this year.

Cornelius said: "The first of its kind globally, the new subsea hub represents a significant milestone in the cost reduction path that tidal power is currently on and also has exciting application in the floating offshore wind market.

“The next phase of MeyGen, which will supply ocean energy to a large data centre to be built in Scotland, requires us to deliver cost competitive energy to our future customers and the use of subsea hubs to reduce the number of export cables required to deliver this power from the 40 x 2 [megawatt] turbines we plan to install is central to our plans. This is a wonderful development for the MeyGen project, our ATES division and the tidal power sector in the UK.”