Renewables firm Atlantis reinforces ties with giant GE

Simec Atlantis Energy is led by chief executive Tim Cornelius. Picture: Jon Savage.
Simec Atlantis Energy is led by chief executive Tim Cornelius. Picture: Jon Savage.
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Renewables specialist Simec Atlantis Energy has strengthened its relationship with US energy giant General Electric (GE) in a deal the Edinburgh-based firm says will help deliver low-cost tidal power.

Atlantis, which is behind the MeyGen tidal energy scheme in the Pentland Firth and has offices in Fountainbridge in the Scottish capital, said its Turbine and Engineering Services Division (ATES) will enter into a technology partnership and preferred supplier agreement with GE’s Power Conversion business, which it said is a global leader in its field.

“With their abundant experience in tidal stream turbine development and power conversion, the two parties will work jointly to help achieve efficient, sustainable solutions for the delivery of low-cost tidal power,” Atlantis said.

The duo will share resources for the ongoing development of utility scale tidal energy generation and associated energy storage services. They will also jointly promote their “innovative” new subsea connection technologies and the wider benefits of cleaner, predictable tidal energy.

The agreement comes after Atlantis and GE started working in partnership in September last year on the development and performance validation of Atlantis’ AR2000 tidal generation system, which the renewables firm said “is expected to be the world’s largest and most powerful single axis turbine available”. It added that the system is predicted to be deployed on future phases of its MeyGen Project and will be available for sale to commercial developers.

The partnership will be key in the delivery of equipment and services to the second phase of the MeyGen Project, known as Project Stroma, which will see two more Atlantis AR2000 turbines connected via a new subsea hub to a single power export cable that will then be connected via the MeyGen substation to the National Grid.

ATES director Drew Blaxland said: “This agreement with GE is a clear demonstration of our commitment to working with industry-leading companies to deliver utility scale tidal power. As the sole supplier of turbine generation equipment to the second phase of the MeyGen project, partnering with GE unlocks enormous opportunities to build on ten years of [research and development] to now deliver more cost-effective, cleaner tidal power solutions for developers around the world.”

Peter Oram, commercial director of GE’s power conversion business, also commented: “We are delighted to be working together towards cleaner energy solutions – harnessing natural resources, like tidal energy, and applying GE’s efficient power conversion technologies allows us to turn this abundant source of energy into reliable, predictable power, for the UK and the world.