Scotland’s first large-scale tidal power project has taken another step towards completion, as the turbines have arrived for installation.
Developed by Atlantis Resources, the turbines are for phase 1a of the MeyGen tidal power project, which will deliver energy in conjunction with a nearby wind farm in a combined wind and tidal power output.
The four 1.5MW turbines weigh almost 200t each. They are 15m tall and the blades are 18m in diameter. The first one was unveiled yesterday (12 September) by Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon. They will be positioned on the quayside at Nigg, ready for their home in the Pentland Firth.
In June a 33kV underground power cable connected the MeyGen project to the Ness of Quoys distribution network.
When completed, the MeyGen project will consist of 269 turbines and generate enough energy to power 175,000 UK homes.
“MeyGen is set to invigorate the marine renewables industry in Scotland and provide vital jobs for a skilled workforce, retaining valuable offshore expertise here in Scotland that would otherwise be lost overseas. Highly skilled operation and maintenance jobs will also need to be carried out locally, providing strong local employment opportunity for rural areas,” said Sturgeon.
“There is no doubt that the eyes of the world are on this project which is why the Scottish Government’s investment is so crucially important.
“But it is absolutely vital that the UK Government honours its earlier commitment to provide a ring-fenced allocation for marine energy in its renewables support scheme. They must tackle the current uncertainty that exists before they cause irreparable damage to the long term prospects for the sector.”
Atlantis Resources chief executive Tim Cornelius added: “Today marks a historic milestone not just for Atlantis and our project partners, but for the entire global tidal power industry. It gives me enormous pride to have reached this juncture after 10 years of tireless work, preparation and planning by everyone associated with this project.
“This is the day the tidal power industry announced itself as the most exciting new asset class of renewable, sustainable generation in the UK’s future energy mix. This is an industry that is creating jobs and Scotland is the undisputed world leader of this high growth sector.”