Scottish Power Renewables joins forces with Atlantis Resources to establish the UK’s largest tidal-energy portfolio

Computer-graphic of the Pentland Firth tidal-power project being developed by Atlantis
Computer-graphic of the Pentland Firth tidal-power project being developed by Atlantis

Tidal energy colossus Atlantis Resources – which is building the world’s largest subsea turbine power generating array in the Pentland Firth – has effectively taken over two projects from Scottish Power in an all-share deal.

Atlantis affiliate Tidal Power Scotland Ltd. will pay in stock valued at £6.6 million for the Sound of Islay and Ness of Duncansby sites.

The 10MW project at the Sound of Islay in western Scotland and athe 100MW development at the Ness of Duncansby at Scotland’s north eastern tip will sit alongside the flagship 398MW MeyGen project in the Pentland Firth, which is 85% owned by Atlantis.

Scottish Power will be able to appoint a Director to the new affiliate.

The project assets include agreements for lease with The Crown Estate for both sites, and the Sound of Islay site also has a grid connection offer and construction consents from the Scottish  Government.

The Sound of Islay project has been awarded €20.7 million of grant funding from the European Commission’s NER300 fund by way of capital and revenue support. 

With consents, grid connection and grants secured, this project is the most advanced commercial scale project in the UK after MeyGen, and is expected to achieve financial close in 2016.

Moreover, following its acquisition of Marine Current Turbines Limited from Siemens earlier this year, the Atlantis group has agreements for lease for two further Scottish tidal sites, at the Mull of Galloway in south-west Scotland and Brough Ness, to the north of the MeyGen and Ness of Duncansby sites in the Pentland Firth. 

Atlantis is in the process of adding these two projects, with a combined capacity of 130MW, to the TPSL portfolio.

Atlantis, through TPSL, is the driving force behind the growing tidal sector in the UK.  TPSL has the largest tidal stream portfolio in the UK, which is at the forefront of the burgeoning tidal-energy industry in Scotland.

The benefits of the increased scale of development in the expanded portfolio are expected to extend to a stronger supply chain in Scotland and the UK as a whole, attracting inward investment and diversifying exposure to the traditional offshore sector. 

With the ongoing support of both industry and government in Holyrood and Westminster, tidal power is increasingly able to deliver large-scale, environmentally benign, indigenous, clean, and predictable supplies of energy to power homes and business throughout the UK.

Scotland aims to generate 100% of its power from renewables by the end of the decade and government figures show the country has as much as 25% of Europe’s tidal resources and about 10%  of EU wave-power potential.

Rémi Gruet, Chief Executive of the Brussels-based Ocean Energy Europe industry body, commented: “This long awaited deal shows that key ocean energy players are moving ahead on tidal and paves the way for ambitious developments in Scotland.

“In a post-COP21 environment, ocean energy will be needed to deliver clean and predictable electricity, balance the grid and develop a European industry creating local jobs. This is a major step in the right direction!

Tim Cornelius, Chief Executive, Atlantis Resources2Tim Cornelius, Chief Executive of Atlantis (pictured) commented: “The UK is now synonymous with tidal power in the same way tech is with Silicon Valley.

“Thanks to the dedicated support provided by the Department for Energy and Climate Change and the Scottish government, the UK tidal sector is leading the world.

“In a transformational 12 months, we have increased our UK projects portfolio by almost 80% in terms of potential capacity, through the acquisition of Marine Current Turbines from Siemens, and this transaction with SPR. 

By 2022, we aim to have at least 640MW of installed capacity in the UK through development of just our existing portfolio, and in the process we want to help build a UK-based supply chain based on world class manufacturing.”

Keith Anderson, Chief Executive, Scottish Power RenewablesKeith Anderson, Chief Executive, Scottish Power Renewables (pictured) said:

“The MeyGen project has moved the tidal power sector forward in Scotland and Atlantis is now the world’s leading developer. This agreement will drive momentum in the sector. 

“We look forward to working with Atlantis and adding value to the Tidal Power Scotland Limited board. With our hard work to design and seek consent for the Islay project, it is now ready to go in to construction, heralding an exciting new chapter in the progression of tidal power.”    

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