Atlantis, owner of the world’s largest planned tidal stream energy project, MeyGen, has been awarded a £7.5 million two year contract with the UK’s Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) to deliver a multi-turbine foundation structure which will support a further two turbines at the Atlantis-owned MeyGen tidal stream array in the Pentland Firth, Scotland.
The agreement with ETI marks the start of Phase 2 of the ETI Tidal Energy Converter Project. TEC Phase 2 will see two Atlantis-owned 1.5MW commercial tidal energy turbines installed on an innovative foundation structure designed and built as part of the ETI-funded project. The Project was negotiated separately to, and comes hot on the heels of, the Company’s announcement of funding for the 4 x 1.5 MW tidal turbine array at the MeyGen site. It will increase the number of turbines at the site from four to six and the rated capacity of the tidal array from 6MW to 9MW, enough to power 4,500 local homes. In the longer term, the intention is to expand capacity of the tidal installation to 398 MW.
The ETI originally commissioned the first phase of the Tidal Energy Converter Project (“TEC Phase 1”) in May 2012, following a competitive tender which was won by a consortium led by Atlantis. TEC Phase 1 adopted a total system lifetime cost of energy methodology to identify, develop and prove tidal energy system technologies capable of significantly reducing cost of energy and of being deployed at array scale. As a result, the ETI has developed a patent-pending innovative and cost effective turbine foundation design which will be deployed during TEC Phase 2.
The second phase of the project, TEC Phase 2 awarded to Atlantis, will run over three stages, commencing with detailed design, fabrication and installation of the innovative turbine foundation structure and associated technologies. Atlantis will be responsible for turbine supply and electrical connection to the local grid.
Tim Cornelius, Atlantis CEO, said: “We are delighted that the ETI has selected Atlantis to continue to develop its marine project portfolio. Phase 2 of the Tidal Energy Converter project will see Atlantis expand its turbine array at the MeyGen site at Scotland and the scale of commercial marine energy generation in the UK. The ETI funded technologies to be designed and built as part of this Project have the potential to substantially reduce the cost of energy of installed commercial turbines – improving the economics of tidal energy as part of the UK’s energy mix.”
Jonathan Wills, Director, Programme Delivery at the ETI added: “Results from the first phase of the project have provided a number of innovations across array system architectures and their operation and the potential impact in the cost of energy produced. In phase 2 we intend to demonstrate the most impactful of the innovations at a real site. The project should further enhance industry and investor confidence in tidal energy and help to unlock its potential as a serious contributor to future energy systems.”
(Source: Atlantis Resources)
(See also this article on Energy Post: Let’s start a tidal lagoon industry)