Hydro Group hauls in major cabling and connection contract for £50m Atlantis tidal turbine power project in Pentland Firth

Doug Whyte
Doug Whyte

Atlantis Resources – which is presently building one of the world’s largest tidal turbine power arrays off the coast of Scotland – has appointed Aberdeen-based subsea cable and connector specialist, Hydro Group to supply connection systems for the project.

More than £50 million has been raised to finance the initial stage (phase 1A) of the ground-breaking Atlantis 398MW tidal array project in the Pentland Firth, off Wick in Caithness –  which involves the installation of four submerged turbines generating 6MW, as well as the construction of all onshore infrastructure to support the project.

 Atlantis Resources – through its 86% owned MeyGen subsidiary –  selected Hydro Group to supply the complete export connection system for one of the tidal turbines, and is currently finalising details for the second phase of the project.

Doug Whyte, Managing Director, Hydro Group, said: “As the first of its kind in the world, the MeyGen project is a true milestone in the marine renewable sector, and being part of it is a significant step for Hydro Group, reinforcing our commitment to supporting renewable system requirements.”

The agreement, which commenced in March this year and is 80% complete, involves Hydro Group providing a single housing for a hybrid with a power output of 6.5kV, incorporating the power and communication connection system, mechanical loading system, and fibre optic and instrumentation lines.

Whyte added: “Our system is designed for 25 years’ service life with an in-built corrosion protection system meaning minimal maintenance is required and operational costs are reduced in the long term, a focus that is of high importance in the current climate.

“To ensure further savings, we design our systems to mate and de-mate – connect and disconnect – in less than one hour to ensure offshore installation costs, the highest cost in any marine infrastructure, are minimised.”

Computer-image of the MeyGen tidal turbine array
Computer-image of the MeyGen tidal turbine array

When fully completed, the MeyGen project will have the potential to provide clean, sustainable, predictable power for 175,000 homes in Scotland from up to 269 tidal turbines secured to the seabed, with the first power to the national grid expected to be delivered in 2016.

 “The project should further enhance industry confidence in tidal energy, helping unlock its potential as a serious contributor to future energy systems,” said Whyte.

Involved from prototype concept through to design, manufacture and project management, Hydro Group manufactures the complete package including FAT at its state-of-the-art facilities in Aberdeen, Scotland; umbilical cables, electrical and optical connection systems / assemblies for data, power and signal transmission.

Employing more than 100 people, the Hydro Group comprises Hydro Bond Engineering and Hydro Cable Systems and mostly operates in the oil, gas and renewable energy sectors.

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