Mere days after Atlantis Resources announced that it had not only awarded ABB the contract to install the tidal power conversion and grid connection systems at its Pentland Firth MeyGen tidal stream project, but had also raised $83 million to begin its construction, the company is now announcing they have signed a £7.5 million two year agreement to begin expansion of the project.
Atlantis announced Tuesday in a press release that they had been awarded a £7.5 million two year contract with the United Kingdom’s Energy Technologies Institute to deliver a multi-turbine foundation structure which will allow for a further two turbines to be installed into the tidal stream array.
“We are delighted that the ETI has selected Atlantis to continue to develop its marine project portfolio,” said Tim Cornelius, Atlantis CEO. “Phase 2 of the Tidal Energy Converter 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.’
Negotiated separately from the original 4 turbines, this second phase will push the project from 6 MW to 9 MW, generating enough clean energy to power 4,500 local homes.
Marine energies such as tidal stream projects have been slow to get off the ground, according to research published earlier this month by Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Senior analyst at BNEF Angus Crone, however, pointed out that “there is clearly huge political support for the MeyGen project” as can be seen by the massive funding it has received from the public sector.
And Atlantis are hoping the increased publicity surrounding the MeyGen project will also help drive the technology.
“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,” said Cornelius.
“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,” added Jonathan Wills, Director, Programme Delivery at the ETI. “In phase 2 we intend to demonstrate the most impactful of the innovations at a real site. The project should further enhance industry and investor confidence in tidal energy and help to unlock its potential as a serious contributor to future energy systems.”