European Commission gives €20.3m to Atlantis for tidal array project

Tidal power company Atlantis has secured a €20.3m grant from the European Commission for its MeyGen Phase 1B project, which will be developed by the Demotide Consortium.

Demotide will design, build and operate a 6MW turbine array, MeyGen Phase 1B, in the Inner Sound of the Pentland Firth in northern Scotland. The project, also known as Project Stroma, will commence construction in 2017 and first power is expected in 2018.  It will be built adjacent to the existing 6MW MeyGen Phase 1A project, which delivered first power to the grid in November last year.  Together, Phases 1A and 1B complete the foundation for full scale build out at the site, which has an awarded seabed lease for almost 400MW of installed capacity.

The Demotide consortium consists of:

  • Leading technology supplier Marine Current Turbines (an Atlantis company), which is based in the UK;
  • DEME, comprising DEME Blue Energy and GeoSea, a world leader in marine operations and owner of a versatile fleet of construction vessels based in Belgium;
  • INNOSEA, an independent engineering firm based in France which provides technical expertise and multidisciplinary engineering services to the marine renewable energy industry; and
  • Queen’s University Belfast, Northern Ireland, who have been at the forefront of marine renewable energy research for over 30 years.

The project aims to demonstrate the technical and commercial viability of drilled foundation systems and larger rotor diameter turbines, to “de-risk” the industry and provide a path to significant cost reduction in the European tidal power sector.

The grant came from European Commission’s in Horizon 2020 funding, the EU’s framework programme for research and innovation.

Atlantis chief executive, Tim Cornelius, said: “The Demotide project is the next significant step in delivering cost effective, reliable tidal stream generation for Europe. MeyGen is the world’s most high profile tidal stream project and we are delighted to be working with the European Commission and this world leading consortium of marine renewable energy experts to ensure that Europe remains at the forefront of tidal power knowledge creation.  This project will help the tidal stream industry demonstrate reductions in the price per unit of electricity by increasing the energy yield per pound of investment. Demotide will set tidal on a path to cost parity with offshore wind by 2020.”

General manager of DEME Blue Energy, Joury Van Gijseghem, said: “We are delighted to be involved in this world leading project, which allows us to build on GeoSea’s successful installation of the MeyGen Phase 1A foundations and all our work in the offshore wind sector.  The Demotide project will open up opportunities for commercial scale tidal power development right across Europe and we believe that GeoSea will play an important role in the roll-out of tidal power across Europe for many years to come.”

Innosea Marine Engineering chief executive, Hakim Mouslim, said: “MeyGen has set the pace for commercial tidal power plants development and we are eager to use our engineering experience for the next phase of this world leading tidal stream project. Innosea will be bringing additional engineering and operational support strength to the Demotide consortium with an objective of making tidal energy costs more competitive within the offshore renewables market.”

Lead project investigator for Queen’s University Belfast (QUB), Dr. Shane Donohue, said: “We are delighted to be part of the Demotide project, which has the potential to transform the tidal energy industry through demonstrations of the technical and commercial feasibility of tidal energy systems. QUB will be involved with monitoring of the system’s performance and will ensure that Demotide’s findings are widely disseminated.”

Related content:

Sustainable Marine Energy raises £4.5m investment for tidal array in Orkney

Ministers under pressure on tidal and nuclear as (current) Energy Bill nears finishing line

Atlantis tidal to share grid capacity with local wind farm

In on the tide? Sian Crampsie took a look at the UK’s potential tidal projects and found barrages more popular than lagoons (members only) 

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