Scottish built tidal turbine shipped to Japan in 'milestone' moment for industry and Edinburgh firm Atlantis

A tidal turbine designed and built by Scottish green energy pioneer Simec Atlantis Energy has been shipped to Japan in a “milestone” move.

Simec Atlantis Energy has achieved another tidal milestone with the installation and successful generation of its tidal turbine in Japan.

The firm said its tidal turbine and generation equipment have been successfully installed in the Goto Island chain in Japan. The turbine clocked its first 10MWh (megawatt hours) of generation within the first ten days of operation and is now producing clean electricity.

The Simec Atlantis designed and manufactured tidal turbine was assembled at the firm’s operations and maintenance base at Nigg Energy Park. It was assembled and tested in nine weeks before being shipped to Japan.

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Offshore construction of the tidal generation equipment took just five days to complete, beginning with the laying of the cable, landing of the foundation structure and ballast to the sea floor, connection of the cable, and finally the installation of the turbine to the foundation.

Graham Reid, chief executive of Edinburgh-based Simec Atlantis Energy, which is behind the groundbreaking MeyGen tidal project in the Moray Firth, among others, said: “We are proud of our team, who worked efficiently and most of all safely during a worldwide pandemic, to bring tidal stream energy to Japan.

“Throughout the project we have also received great support from our strategic partner, KME, who was supported by a consortium of local and international stakeholders. I would also like to recognise the work of the Scottish Government who continue to support and champion the tidal industry and maximise the benefits to Scotland.

“This is a huge milestone for the deployment of clean, renewable energy from tidal stream and we hope it will be the first of many tidal turbines installed in Japan.”

Energy minister Paul Wheelhouse said: “For over ten years the Scottish Government has championed the development and deployment of marine energy.

“We have worked extensively to support the research, development, innovation and demonstration that has made Scotland a global leader in both tidal and wave technology, with several World firsts and initiatives having been progressed in Scotland’s waters.

“I would like to congratulate Simec Atlantis Energy on achieving this significant milestone for the company and also for the workers at Nigg Energy Park who built the turbine which is now successfully generating clean, green electricity in Japan.

“Both the company and the team at Nigg have demonstrated the huge potential for Scotland’s marine energy and the key role it will play in decarbonising our energy both at home and – as demonstrated by this turbine’s successful deployment in Japan – across the world and I look forward to Scotland’s marine energy potential having a further shop window to the international community when delegates gather in Glasgow for COP26, later this year.”

The firm’s creation and export of the turbine and technology to Japan was supported with material guarantees from HSBC UK.

Steven Jolly, deputy head of corporate banking in Scotland at HSBC UK, said: “We’re extremely proud to have played a role in helping this Scottish engineering project bring tidal energy to Japan for the first time. It’s always exciting to be able to help a business explore new territory and this has been a great project to showcase Scottish engineering on a global scale.”

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The Big Interview: Graham Reid, CEO of Simec Atlantis Energy

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