Pentland tidal energy scheme could outgun Dounreay

Simec Atlantis Energy, the Edinburgh-based renewable power developer, has hailed a strong performance at its MeyGen tidal energy project in the Pentland Firth, saying it now plans to up capacity.

Tim Cornelius working on number of initiatives. Picture: Jon Savage

The group said it was working on several initiatives to increase the installed capacity of the flagship project. Full build out would represent a capacity which is 50 per cent higher than Dounreay, the Caithness nuclear power plant that is currently undergoing long-term decommissioning.

In an operational update, Atlantis said MeyGen had now exported 17.5 gigawatt hours (GWh) of electricity to the national grid, eclipsing the previous record of about 11GWh.

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This year alone, the project has exported in excess of 7GWh of predictable renewable energy to the grid, equivalent to the average annual electricity consumption of more than 2,200 homes.

The firm noted that the 2019 performance represents “the longest period of uninterrupted generation from a multi-megawatt tidal turbine array ever achieved”.

Tim Cornelius, chief executive of Atlantis, said: “Uninterrupted production generates large volumes of valuable performance data which can be used to improve performance, optimise future system design and provide confidence to project financiers who will be called upon to fund our plans to expand this world-renowned project.

“The team is working on several initiatives to increase the installed capacity of the project so we can exploit fully the 398MW seabed lease.”