Atlantis tidal power giant to build £20m EU big-blade demonstration turbine generator in Pentland Firth

Cable-laying operations in Pentland Firth for Atlantis' MeyGen subsea power station.
Cable-laying operations in Pentland Firth for Atlantis’ MeyGen subsea power station.

Tidal power Colossus Atlantis Resources has won a £20 million EU grant to design and build a 6-MW turbine array in the next phase of its MeyGen project in the Pentland Firth.

Construction will start on MeyGen Phase 1B, also known as Project Stroma, in Spring 2017 and first power is expected in 2018. 

The European Commission for the Demo-Tide project will be built adjacent to the existing 6MW MeyGen Phase 1A project, which delivered first power to the grid in November last year. 

Together, Phases 1A and 1B complete the foundation for full scale build out at the site, which has an awarded seabed lease for almost 400MW of installed capacity.

The Demo-Tide consortium comprises:

  • Technology supplier Marine Current Turbines (an Atlantis company), which is based in the UK;
  • DEME Blue Energy and GeoSea, a world leader in marine operations and owner of a versatile fleet of construction vessels based in Belgium;
  • INNOSEA, an independent engineering firm based in France which provides technical expertise and multidisciplinary engineering services to the marine renewable energy industry; and
  • Queen’s University Belfast, Northern Ireland, which has been at the forefront of marine renewable energy research for over 30 years.

The Demo-Tide project will demonstrate the technical and commercial viability of drilled foundation systems and larger rotor diameter turbines, further de-risking the industry and providing a robust path to significant cost reduction in the European tidal power sector.

Tim Cornelius
Tim Cornelius

Tim Cornelius, Chief Executive, Atlantis Resources, said: “The Demo-Tide project is the next significant step in delivering cost effective, reliable tidal stream generation for Europe. 

“MeyGen is the world’s most high profile tidal stream project and we are delighted to be working with the European Commission and this world leading consortium of marine renewable energy experts to ensure that Europe remains at the forefront of tidal power knowledge creation. 

“This project will help the tidal stream industry demonstrate reductions in the price per unit of electricity by increasing the energy yield per pound of investment. Demo-Tide will set tidal on a path to cost parity with offshore wind by 2020.”

Joury Van Gijseghem, General Manager, DEME Blue Energy, said: “We are delighted to be involved in this world leading project, which allows us to build on GeoSea’s successful installation of the MeyGen Phase 1A foundations and all our work in the offshore wind sector. 

“The Demo-Tide project will open up opportunities for commercial scale tidal power development right across Europe and we believe that GeoSea will play an important role in the roll-out of tidal power across Europe for many years to come.”

Hakim Mouslim, INNOSEA Marine Engineering Chief Executive, said: “MeyGen has set the pace for commercial tidal power plants development and we are eager to use our engineering experience for the next phase of this world leading tidal stream project.

“We will be bringing additional engineering and operational support strength to the Demo-Tide consortium with an objective of making tidal energy costs more competitive within the offshore renewables market.”

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