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MeyGen tidal stream array produces nearly 25GWh of electricity

By Staff Reporter

One of the MeyGen AR1500 turbines currently in use in the Pentland Firth.
One of the MeyGen AR1500 turbines currently in use in the Pentland Firth.

The MeyGen tidal energy project produced enough electricity to power 3800 homes during 2019, according to its operator Simec Atlantis Energy.

The 6MW capacity tidal array, made up of four 1.5MW turbines including the AR1500, exported over 13.8GWh of predictable renewable electricity from January to December, generating £3.9 million in turnover for the company.

MeyGen has now exported a total of 24.7GWh to the national grid since it started its operational phase and had generated total revenues since operations commenced of £7.1 million at the end of last year.

The AR1500 turbine is due to undergo maintenance and will be transported to land for servicing and upgrade work at the end of January 2020.

The world’s most valuable resource is no longer oil but data

Atlantis says it is expected that it will return to service in the spring, providing a four per cent increase in revenue with no increase in operating cost.

Tim Cornelius, chief executive officer of Atlantis, said: “I am delighted to report that MeyGen has now exported a remarkable 24.7GWh of predictable renewable energy. Not only is this world-renowned project helping the UK meet its net-zero ambitions, but it is also providing valuable performance data which can be used to inform future projects, demonstrating MeyGen’s importance as a global prototype.”

As part of Project Stroma, Atlantis is currently constructing two AR2000 turbines, each with a 2MW capacity. These will use a single export cable to connect to the national grid via the MeyGen substation.

During 2019, Atlantis announced its intention to develop the next phase of its MeyGen array which will see an additional 80MW of tidal capacity added to the existing project site between the island of Stroma and the mainland. Atlantis intends to design, consent and build the world’s first ocean-powered data centre near the MeyGen site, connected to the tidal array via a private wire.

A concept study has been completed with design under way to include a connection to the Celtic Norse subsea fibre optic cable currently in development, significantly enhancing Scotland’s international data connectivity. Atlantis is exploring connections to other international fibre optic cables as well.

Atlantis believes the tidal array’s private wire structure with the data centre will provide a route to market for the next phase of the project in lieu of subsidy support for tidal power in the United Kingdom.

Mr Cornelius added: “MeyGen holds a 398MW seabed lease and our data centre expansion project is world leading for a number of reasons. The cost of tidal power continues to reduce and this is being assisted by the sustained pressure the offshore wind market places on the supply chain domestically and abroad.

“The world’s most valuable resource is no longer oil but data, and by combining tidal power with stranded onshore wind farms in close proximity to MeyGen, we can create a virtual power plant to provide sustainable power to a data centre in Scotland, creating important new fibre connections for Scotland and the UK in the process.”

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