Tidal energy debut - Queen is quids in as 'sea bed landowner'

Tony Gosling tony at cultureshop.org.uk
Fri Sep 16 01:44:41 BST 2016

Fifty of these turbines and you have a Hinkley C
The nuclear power deal is all about allowing 
China in to control UK infrastructure as domestic state power is privatised

As the Crown Estate owns the seabed around 
Britain, it will be paid hundreds of thousands of 
pounds a year in rent for the turbine scheme.
The Royal family, which will soon benefit by 
taking 15 per cent of the Crown Estate profit, 
may also be able to enjoy renewable energy from the Pentland Firth project.
The royal Castle of Mey, which Prince Charles 
visits every year, is a few miles from the tidal 
farm site, which lies between the Caithness coast and the island of Stroma.
  By Tom Mcghie, Mail Online
Story from: 

Scotland unveils world’s largest tidal stream power project


First turbine in 398MW MeyGen project could start generating power by October

SEPTEMBER 12, 2016   by: 
Dickie in Nigg and Ness of Quoys, Scotland

Less than a decade ago, Timothy Cornelius, the 
head of the tidal-power venture Atlantis 
Resources, struggled to get investors and regulators to return his calls.

Now, as he formally unveils the world’s largest 
tidal-stream project under construction, he can 
hardly fend them off. “The level of interest has 
been almost unmanageable,” Mr Cornelius 
complained happily of the requests for visits and meetings.

The interest reflects the importance for the 
nascent tidal sector of Atlantis’s 398MW MeyGen 
project between the Scottish mainland and Orkney 
Islands. Success will demonstrate that tidal 
power has finally become a serious option.

“There is no doubt that the eyes of the world are 
on this project,” said Nicola Sturgeon, 
Scotland’s first minister, ahead of a visit to 
the Nigg Energy Park on Monday to see Atlantis 
unveil the first turbine to be installed under 
the waters of the Pentland Firth.

The hulking device, which resembles a bulked-up 
wind turbine, is one of four with combined output 
capacity of 6MW that make the up the £51m first stage of the MeyGen project.

If all goes well, they will be sending 
electricity within weeks to a new power 
conversion unit on the shore of the Pentland 
Firth at Ness of Quoys from where it can be sold to the grid.

“It is possible to consider the first sparks will 
come in late October,” Mr Cornelius said, adding 
that a second batch of 4 turbines will follow immediately.

The second stage will much cheaper and will 
require less public investment and the third 
should need none at all, according to Atlantis, 
which in April announced a 
with Equitixunder which the infrastructure 
investor plans to put more than £100m into 
Scottish tidal power over the next two years.

“Psychologically, this is the unleashing,” Mr 
Cornelius said. “It was a great story before, now 
it is an infrastructure project.”

The project still faces formidable challenges. 
The very currents desirable for electricity 
generation complicate installation of the 
turbines, each of which requires more than 1,000 
tonnes for their structure and ballast. “The 
Pentland Firth is a nightmare for most mariners,” 
said William Bremner, a skipper on the ferry that 
runs from nearby John o’Groats.

Most work on the undersea site is limited to 
short periods of slack in the current, particular 
during smaller “neap tides” twice a month.

“The kit has to be incredibly robust in order to 
survive a subsea tidal environment,” said Dave 
Rigg, Atlantis’s head of engineering services. 
“If you can imagine 40 metres of water flowing at 
nearly 15 miles per hour ­ that creates huge loads.”

Yet the appeal of tidal stream power is clear. 
There is less impact on the landscape or wildlife 
than offshore or onshore wind farms. And, unlike 
wind, output is predictable years in advance.

Australia-based Atlantis, which is listed on the 
London’s Stock Exchange’s Aim market, plans to 
spend nearly £500m in tidal power in Scotland over the next two years.

Mr Cornelius said the Scottish and UK governments 
are right to see tidal stream as a major 
opportunity. Three of MeyGen’s first batch of 
turbines are supplied by Germany’s Andritz Hydro 
Hammerfest and a fourth is being 
for Atlantis by Lockheed Martin of the US.

But more than 40 per cent of capital expenditure 
for the first phase is within the UK and this 
will rise in the second phase to 60 per cent. 
Atlantis hopes to be able to firm up plans for at 
least 50 turbines next year, enough to turn Nigg 
into a centre for fabricating, assembling and testing.

“Britain lost wind turbine manufacturing [and] 
Britain lost nuclear manufacturing, but it can own tidal,” Mr Cornelius said.

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