Tidal energy project MeyGen has won a £1.545 million grant from the Scottish Government’s Saltire Tidal Energy Challenge Fund to develop a subsea tidal turbine connection hub for the next phase of development.
The Saltire Tidal Energy Fund is a £10 million fund supporting the commercial deployment of tidal energy generation in Scottish waters, driving innovation and reducing the cost of electricity generation.
The awarded funding will be used to design, procure, install, connect and commission a subsea hub and associated subsea connection infrastructure. This is said to be a key enabler for future array phases, as it should deliver cost reductions in power production by connecting multiple turbines to a single export cable. MeyGen’s project company will award a £2.4 million engineering, procurement and construction contract to SIMEC Atlantis Energyfor delivery and installation of the subsea hub which will be installed later this year (2020) on the MeyGen project site in the Pentland Firth.
It will use the Atlantis turbine ‘wet mate’ connection system, which enables rapid and automatic connection and disconnection of power and communication infrastructure offshore without any intervention.
Once proven, the hub will be made available to project developers to help to achieve cost-competitive commercial deployment across the sector.
Tim Cornelius, chief executive of Atlantis, said: “We are very grateful and appreciative of the Scottish Government’s continued support for tidal stream energy by awarding this grant to help fund MeyGen’s ongoing expansion. …
“The subsea hub we have designed and developed is a key part of our overall cost reduction strategy for tidal power generation. This hub will also have direct application for other forms of marine energy such as floating offshore wind and wave energy. We are very proud to be taking the lead in realising the full potential of our oceans’ energy, delivering a cleaner energy future.
… “The next phase of MeyGen, which will supply ocean energy to a large data centre to be built in Scotland, requires us to deliver cost competitive energy to our future customers and the use of subsea hubs to reduce the number of export cables required to deliver this power from the 40 x 2MW turbines we plan to install is central to our plans.“