Atlantis Resorces has announced the first power from the MeyGen project site in the Pentland Firth, Scotland.
The turbine, supplied by Andritz Hydro Hammerfest (AHH), was 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 energized, the company explained.
Both the turbine and cable installation works were completed by James Fisher Marine Services Limited, using the Olympic Ares. The turbine installation followed the offshore campaign in October during which GeoSea NV installed all four foundation structures using its jack-up vessel, the Neptune.
Over the past few days, AHH has been working to establish communications with the turbine and verify that the on-board safety and monitoring systems are operational. Now, working with ABB Limited as the suppliers of the onshore frequency converters, the AHH team has began the process of powering up the turbine to tune the control system for optimized generation.
During this programme, the project is exporting electricity for the first time, using only the tidally driven water flows. This follows an extensive onshore turbine testing and commissioning regime prior to final deployment, Atlantis explained.
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 start next year.
Atlantis CEO Tim Cornelius said: “This is the moment we have been working towards since we first identified the MeyGen site back in 2007, and I am immensely proud of and grateful for the remarkable team of people who have contributed to this milestone – our suppliers, our funders, our supportive shareholders, and of course the project team, whose commitment, tenacity and belief have been without equal.”
Atlantis is the indirect majority owner of the MeyGen project through its 92% shareholding in Tidal Power Scotland Limited, which owns 83.5% of MeyGen Limited alongside Scottish Enterprise (16.5%).
The first phase of the MeyGen project has been funded through a combination of debt, equity and grants from Atlantis, Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, The Crown Estate and the former Department for Energy and Climate Change.