UK ETI backs Meygen tidal

Tidal power developer Atlantis Resources has locked up a £7.5m ($12.4m) deal with UK government-industry body the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) for a multi-turbine foundation structure to be used on the 400MW MeyGen development off Scotland.

The agreement, which marks the start of the second phase of the ETI's tidal energy converter (TEC) project, will see a pair of Atlantis-designed 1.5MW turbines installed on an as-yet-undisclosed "innovative" foundation concept at the tidal stream array in the Pentland Firth.

“Phase 2 of the TEC 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," states Atlantis chief executive Tim Cornelius.

"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 of programme delivery at the ETI, adds: "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."

Last week, UK seabed landlord the Crown Estate added nearly £10m to the £50m pot raised for MeyGen's 9MW pilot phase of MeyGen, which will produce enough power for 4,500 local homes.

TEC Phase 1 adopted a total system lifetime cost of energy methodology to prove-up the technologies needed to "significantly" reduce the cost of energy and tidal power being deployed at array scale.

The second phase will run over three stages, starting with detailed design, fabrication and installation of the innovative turbine foundation structure and associated technologies.