MeyGen marks major milestone with 11km of cabling at Pentland Firth tidal energy project

The cable-laying crew worked day and night to install the subsea cables at MeyGen's Pentland Firth tidal energy project
The cable-laying crew worked day and night to install the subsea cables at MeyGen’s Pentland Firth tidal energy project

Another major milestone in the MeyGen project to install the world’s largest tidal turbine generator array in the Pentland Firth has been achieved.

The Edinburgh-based company – majority owned by Atlantis Resources – has completed the laying of four subsea cables which run from the Caithness foreshore into the Inner Sound of the Pentland Firth and down to the seabed.

The four cables are housed in individual bore holes of approximately 0.5km each, drilled earlier this year. From the exit of the borehole, the cables then run along the seabed to the offshore project site, where four 1.5 MW tidal turbines will be deployed next year. 

The cables will connect the tidal turbines to the onshore substation, from where the power will be fed into the wider grid.  

The MeyGen project cables being loaded aboard the Siem Daya at Hartlepoool
The MeyGen project cables being loaded aboard the Siem Daya 

Cable reels were loaded onto the vessel Siem Daya 1 in Hartlepool last week and then transported to the MeyGen site in Caithness. Work from the vessel commenced on Monday and the team installed some 11 km of cable over the next four days.

The installation process entailed pulling the cable from the vessel through the bore using an onshore winch. Once the end of the cable is secured onshore, the vessel lays the offshore end out to the turbine site along a pre-determined route. The principal contractor for all of MeyGen’s offshore works is James Fisher Marine Services.

The MeyGen project is the largest consented tidal stream power project in Europe, and is scheduled to commence generation in 2016. When fully constructed, the 398 megawatt MeyGen array will consist of 269 submerged tidal turbines – enough to power 175,000 Scottish homes.

Tim Cornelius, Chief Executive, Atlantis Resources, said: “This is an excellent result for the project. 

“By its very nature the offshore site is a challenging tidal environment, and to complete the installation campaign safely and in line with the programme is a commendable achievement by our onshore and offshore teams, aided by great performance from the vessel. 

“After all the planning it is very rewarding to see the offshore infrastructure taking shape for this trail-blazing project.”

Atlanatis MeyGen-image-21-nov-2011jpg

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