Scotland unveils world's first large-tidal energy scheme

12 September by Sally Woods


Today, Nicola Sturgeon visited the MeyGen project in the Pentland Firth owned by Atlantis Resources.  When fully completed, the tidal farm will include up to 269 turbines submerged on the seabed, generating enough energy for 175,000 homes in Scotland.

Approximately 50 direct jobs will be created during Phase 1 of the project, with a further 70 indirect roles created throughout the supply chain. 

“This is an industry that is creating jobs and Scotland is the undisputed world leader of this high growth sector.”  Tim Cornelius, chief executive of Atlantis Resources

As the first large-scale tidal project of its type in the world to successfully reach a funding agreement, the MeyGen project will be a catalyst for the global tidal power market, signalling the transition of the industry from demonstration projects to commercial arrays.

The funding syndicate includes: Atlantis; the Department of Energy & Climate Change; The Crown Estate; Scottish Enterprise via the Renewable Energy Investment Fund (REIF); and Highlands and Islands Enterprise.

HSBC will be acting as the security trustee and account bank for the project, having also facilitated various guarantees to key stake holders (National Grid PLC and Scottish Hydro Electric Power Distribution PLC) to support the project.

The finance package includes a combination of equity, debt and grants, and 60 percent of the project cost will be invested in the UK supply chain. Significant project supply chain partners will include ABB, Andritz Hydro Hammerfest, Global Energy Group and James Fisher PLC.

As a result, the project has won the support of the Scottish government via Scottish Enterprise’s Renewable Energy Investment Fund, the British government, and The Crown Estate.

The Department for Energy & Climate Change estimates that the UK alone has around 50% of Europe’s tidal energy resource and that it could meet 20% of the UK’s electricity demand.

Tidal power is not only expected to play a major role in replacing the UK’s ageing coal and gas fired power plants, but its highly predictable nature means that it can offer a consistent supply of renewable energy.

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