Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister of Scotland, has officially unveiled the MeyGen project, the world’s largest free stream tidal power project, at a ceremony held today at the Nigg Energy Park in Scotland.
The ceremony took place on the Nigg quayside where the first fully assembled turbine, standing 15 metres tall and with blades 18 metres in diameter, was unveiled by the First Minister.
The four 1.5MW turbines that make up Phase 1A, three of which built by Andritz and one AR1500 Atlantis turbine, weigh almost 200 tonnes each and have now been fully assembled, Atlantis informed.
They will be positioned on top of their foundation structures on the quayside at Nigg ready for deployment to the MeyGen site in the Pentland Firth.
The turbines and their foundations will be transported to the site by the Neptune jack-up vessel operated by Geosea, a subsidiary of the DEME Group.
Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister of Scotland, said: “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.
“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.
“I am incredibly proud of Scotland’s role in leading the way in tackling climate change and investment in marine renewables is a hugely important part of this.”
Tim Cornelius, CEO of Atlantis Resources, said: “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 is contributing to making Britain great again and Scotland is the undisputed world leader of this high growth sector.”
The unveiling follows the MeyGen project’s successful connection to the 33kV Ness of Quoys distribution network in June 2016 following the installation of one of the longest underground 33kV power export cables in the UK by the network operator, Scottish Hydro Electric Power Distribution.
Atlantis remains on track to deliver first power to the grid from MeyGen Phase 1A later this year, according to the company, which will be a landmark event for the global marine power industry.
When completed, the MeyGen project will consist of 269 turbines and generate enough energy to power 175,000 UK homes.