Atlantis says its 6MW tidal turbine array in Pentland Firth, Scotland, has completed all tests and entered its 25 year operations phase.
The milestone caps more than a decade of work. The company will turn its attention to scaling its operations and commercialising tidal stream technology.
The first phase of the 6MW MayGen project uses two different turbine designs, three AAH turbines and one of Atlantis’ own designs.
It qualifies for 5 renewables obligation certificates (Rocs) per MWh, reflecting the heavy lifting required from both public and private investors in bringing tidal technology to this stage.
CEO Tim Cornelius thanked “all our funders, contractors and shareholders for their unwavering support and belief in the project over the years”, as well as the “exceptional” supply chain and team involved in delivering the project.
“This achievement is a triumph of public policy and a demonstration of what can be achieved when government and the private sector roll their sleeves up and decide to create a whole new industry together,” added Cornelius.
Atlantis said the array has generated around 6GWh of energy to date and in March set a new world record for monthly production from a tidal stream array, generating 1,400MWh.
The company states it has a potential project pipeline of over a gigawatt globally, of which 392MW relating to the MayGen project is consented with grid connections in place.
Scotland is leading the UK’s tidal development work, with the Scottish government investing £23m into MayGen.
Paul Weelhouse, minister for Business, Innovation and Energy, said he was “delighted” that the Scottish government now “starts to see the benefits of our early investment” and said the government will “support Atlantis to secure construction of the remaining phases of what will ultimately be a commercial scale project”.
John Robertson, senior engineer and infrastructure manager at Crown Estate Scotland, which manages seabed leases, said the organisation “looks forward to supporting MeyGen and the other tidal energy projects in Scottish waters as the sector strengthens and grows”.
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When will it all end? It’s enough to make a grown man cry!
A 1.5 MW turbine, operating at 30% capacity factor is 200 tonnes of solid metal. So not counting the metals and other resources that go into the seabed structure to which the turbine is bolted, that works out at 444 tonnes of metal for every MW of generating capacity.
The SSOOooo expensive Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant is 3,200 MW capacity operating at 90% capacity factor and contains about 142,000 tonnes of metals; that’s 49 tonne of metal for every MW of generating capacity.
Does anymore need to be said about the ridiculous waste of money and precious resources trying to extract useful energy from this unforgiving environment?
I’m a retired engineer so I know the honest endeavour that’s gone into this project, but it’s driven by the fluffy cloud world of extracting free energy from bountiful Mother Nature and there has to be a point where it doesn’t go beyond the hopeful dreaming stage.
Don’t hold back Colin.