Work is to begin on the largest tidal energy project in Europe after the Scottish government granted permission. MeyGen is to install the tidal array in stages in the Pentland Firth, between Orkney and the Scottish mainland. Scottish-registered company, MeyGen Limited, is a joint venture between investment bank Morgan Stanley, independent power generator GDF SUEZ and tidal technology provider Atlantis Resources Corporation.
It will begin with a 9MW demonstration project of up to six turbines, with construction expected to take place on a phased basis until 2020. When fully operational, the 86MW array could generate enough electricity to power the equivalent of 42,000 homes. That is the equivalent of 40% of homes in the Highlands. It will be the first commercial deployment of tidal turbines in Scottish waters.
Its tidal energy project is located in the Inner Sound of the Pentland Firth off the north coast of Caithness. MeyGen has agreed a 25 year lease with the Crown Estate for an area encompassing about 1.4 square miles of fast flowing water between the island of Stroma and the North Easterly tip of the Scottish mainland.
Its AR1000 turbine is claimed to be the world’s most powerful single-rotor tidal device. Each of the devices, which stand 22.5m tall, weigh 1,500 tonnes and have a rotor diameter of 18m, could generate up to 1MW of power.
Phase one of the plan would see 86 turbines deployed, with MeyGen hoping a second phase would eventually see up to 400 submerged turbines at the site.
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