Atlantis generates first-power from Meygen tidal turbine sub-sea power station off Caithness

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Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon with Tim Cornelius, pictured recently with a pre-installation tidal turbine.

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.

Both the turbine and cable installation works were completed by James Fisher Marine Services Limited, using the Olympic Ares.  The turbine installation followed a successful 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 begun the process of powering up the turbine to tune the control system for optimised generation. 

During this programme, the project is exporting electricity for the first time, using only the tidally driven water flows which rush through the Inner Sound of the Pentland Firth.  This follows an extensive onshore turbine testing and commissioning regime prior to final deployment. 

Tim Cornelius, Chief Executive, Atlantis Resources, commented: “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 UK’s own abundant resources.  When it comes to energy, we think consumers should be asking for the moon, and we know how to harness it.”

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