Tidal power giant Atlantis Resources has generated first-power from its MeyGen project in the Pentland Firth, off Caithness. The Andritz Hydro Hammerfest turbine was successfully installed last week and plugged into the pre-laid cable which connects back to the onshore control centre and grid export point, which has already been commissioned and energised. This turbine is the first of four 1.5MW tidal stream turbines to become operational at the site for the first 6MW phase of a total build out of almost 400MW. Construction for the next 6MW phase, which benefits from a €17 million grant from the EC’s NER300 fund, is due to commence next year.
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One of the world’s most ambitious tidal energy projects has started to generate power for the first time. In a news release on Tuesday, Atlantis Resources – the indirect majority owner of the MeyGen project, as the tidal scheme is known – said that a turbine was exporting electricity for the first time in an area off the north coast of Scotland. “The success of this first phase is a foundation for the tidal industry to build upon to ensure we develop a new energy sector which can deliver clean, predictable and affordable power from the U.K.’s own abundant resources,” Tim Cornelius, Atlantis CEO, said in a statement. “When it comes to energy, we think consumers should be asking for the moon, and we know how to harness it.” The potential of tidal energy is significant. In 2013, for example, the U.K. government said that wave and tidal str eam energy had the potential to meet as much as 20 percent of the U.K.’s electricity demand. Earlier this year, Nova Innovation said that it had deployed the world’s first “fully-operational, commercial, grid-connected offshore tidal array in Shetland.” In a statement commenting on the developments surrounding the MeyGen project, WWF Scotland director Lang Banks described it as “a really exciting moment.” “Coming only a few months after turbines off Shetland generated their first power, it’s a sign that Scotland is really starting to make progress in harnessing the power of our seas,” Banks added.
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