The developers of the MeyGen tidal array project have summarized the lessons learned during the project’s Phase 1A in a report for the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).
The report provides some generic conclusions and a number of detailed experiences amassed in the Phase 1A of the MeyGen project.
The aim is to allow the wider industry to draw their own parallels between the experiences of MeyGen Phase 1A and their own ventures, even if they do not face the exact same circumstances, it is stated in the report.
MeyGen found found that smaller, local subcontractors were generally more willing to complete work on time and take ownership, and will consider using a higher proportion of small, local contractors in future phases of the project.
The report also states that in comparison to using only a single turbine type, having two turbine types resulted in the Phase 1A project bearing additional costs. However, MeyGen anticipates that the experience gained by all parties will justify this cost in the later phases of the project.
MeyGen has generally found that remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) are not suited to the conditions, and also, that using a different cable monitoring system, such as CableFish, to guide the cable lay process would have been beneficial.
MeyGen found that an earlier, more detailed, study of the seabed conditions, including bathymetric and visual inspection, would have been valuable, as the MeyGen Phase 1A used gravity foundations which have three feet, each of which requires a suitably level seabed.
This was later determined to be ‘extremely difficult’ to find, and MeyGen should have given a higher weighting to this issue when deciding between the use of gravity base or monopile foundations in the early engineering stage, the report said.
MeyGen also said it prioritized the standardization of the foundation design over flexibility to suit the different seabed conditions, and would have benefitted from a more flexible foundation design.
The monopile foundations will be used for the MeyGen Phase 1B, also known as the Project Stroma, it was revealed earlier.
The Phase 1A of the MeyGen project has been completed, and included the installation and operation of four tidal turbines with the total installed capacity of 6MW.
Once fully built, the 400MW MeyGen project is expected to generate enough predictable and emissions free electricity to power 175,000 Scottish homes.