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MeyGen delivers best operating results to date

By Gordon Calder

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THE MeyGen tidal energy project in the Pentland Firth has delivered its best operating results to date, according to the company behind the venture.

Simec Atlantis Energy revealed the news in its unaudited interim results report for the six months to June this year.

The pioneering project in the Inner Sound exported more than 21 gigawatts (GWh) of electricity to the national grid with the demonstration array operating at above 90 per cent.

"These are the best operating results ever achieved on the MeyGen project to date," states the report, which shows that revenue of £2 million was generated in the period compared with £1.3 million in 2018. Most of it was from MeyGen.

Group total equity stood at £117.6 million which is down slightly compared with December last year when the figure was £119.6m.

MeyGen has recorded its best operating results so far.
MeyGen has recorded its best operating results so far.

The chairman of Simec Atlantis Energy, John Neill, said: "I am delighted to report the continued strong performance of the turbines at MeyGen Phase 1A.

"To date, over 21GWh of predictable renewable electricity has been exported to the grid for distribution to consumers. This equates to the average annual domestic electricity consumption of over 6000 homes, or five per cent of the annual electricity consumption of Aberdeen.

"The reliability of the array during 2019 has been excellent, and it has been incredibly rewarding to see the project enter this steady state phase of operations and consistently deliver generation in line with predictions.

"This sustained period of generation, which surpasses that of any other tidal stream project anywhere in the world, has yielded not only revenues but large volumes of performance data to help improve performance, optimise future system design, and provide confidence to future project financiers.

"We are continuing to investigate opportunities to further enhance the performance of the existing array with the potential for further turbine deployment, including the new AR2000 turbine and our subsea hub, which allows for significant cost savings through the connection of multiple turbines to a single export cable.

"These are key steps to our plans for a potentially much larger scale roll-out at the site, making use of our full 86MW consented capacity and demonstrating the viability of tidal stream energy as a cost-effective, home-grown solution for predictable and inexhaustible electricity supply."

Company chief executive Tim Cornelius said: "The performance of the MeyGen tidal power array during 2019 is testament to our investment and belief in the commercial-scale prospects of tidal power – reliable, predictable revenue generation from energy extracted in an environmentally benign manner. We now look forward to working with government and industry to deliver the next phases of MeyGen in partnership with world-leading data centre operators and the local community in Caithness."

Last month, Atlantis announced its plans to develop the world’s largest ocean-powered data centre in Caithness.

The data centre – a base for computer, telecommunications and storage systems – would be connected to international subsea fibre-optic cables, offering a fast and reliable connection to London, Europe and the USA. Forty of the largest turbines the company has ever built would be needed for the venture with 120 staff required to maintain them.

The power for the centre would be supplied by MeyGen.

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