Atlantis gets EU cash for tidal push

London-headquartered Atlantis Resources has locked up €7.7m ($10.5m) from the European Commission (EC) to support roll-out of multiple tidal turbine arrays at its 400MW MeyGen development in the Pentland Firth off northern Scotland.

The funding, awarded under the Seventh Framework programme for research and technological development, will underpin design, installation and operation of the company’s 1.5MW AR1500 tidal energy turbines in the 3.5 sq km Inner Sound project site, where tidal current races through at over four metres per second.

“The award of this grant ... will help to catalyse the [tidal] industry’s development, providing a credible and robust transition pathway from single turbine demonstration units, to the deployment of multi-hundred turbine arrays in Europe and across the wider international market,” says Atlantis chief executive Tim Cornelius.

The EC grant comes on the heels of Atlantis entry onto the London Stock Exchange’s Alternative Investment Market and £12m initial public offering (IPO).

“Taken with the £12 million that we have raised through IPO, this grant means that the business is in a strong financial position to deliver its projects,” Cornelius adds

The capital raised through the IPO is earmarked for the delivery of the first stage of MeyGen – a lead-off 9MW pilot project, planned as a stepping stone to an 86MW array – as well as for final detailed design of the AR1500 turbine and a demonstrator project planned off China.

Installation of the first six Atlantis turbines at MeyGen would begin early next year, with switch-on expected to follow “in late 2015 or early 2016”.

Last September, US military industrial giant Lockheed Martin inked a global partnership deal with Atlantis to bring the latter’s new 1.5MW turbine system to market, with an eye on deliveries to MeyGen, at the Force centre on Canada’s Bay of Fundy and India’s Gulf of Kutch.

Atlantis’ 1MW AR1000 turbine, a three-bladed machine standing 22.5 metres tall, weighing 1,500 tonnes and outfitted with an 18-metre-diameter rotor and permanent-magnet generator, has been put through its paces at the European Marine Energy Centre in the Scottish Orkney Islands and test-bench trialled at the National Renewable Energy Centre at Blyth.

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