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World’s largest operational tidal stream array generated 13.8GWh in 2019

Simec Atlantis Energy, the once Australia based and now global developer, owner, and operator of the world’s largest operational tidal stream array, has published an operational update on its 6MW MeyGen tidal stream project in Scotland, along with expansion plans to add an additional 80 MW.

According to Atlantis, since its initiation in 2018 the MeyGen tidal stream array in Pentland Firth has generated 24.7 GWh of renewable electricity to the UK national grid. In 2019 alone, MeyGen generated 13.8 GWh of electricity to the grid – the equivalent of the average annual consumption of around 3,800 UK households.

The AR1500 turbines are set to undergo maintenance at some point in the next few days – where they will be transported to land for servicing and upgrade work – before being returned to operation sometime in the Northern Hemisphere’s spring. Atlantis expects the ‘upgrade’ portion of its maintenance work will increase the turbines’ revenue by 4%.

“I am delighted to report that MeyGen has now exported a remarkable 24.7 GWh of predictable renewable energy,” said Tim Cornelius, an Australian who is CEO of Atlantis.

“Not only is this world-renowned project helping the UK meet its Net Zero ambitions, but it is also providing valuable performance data which can be used to inform future projects, demonstrating MeyGen’s importance as a global prototype.

“MeyGen holds a 398MW seabed lease and our data centre expansion project is world leading for a number of reasons. The cost of tidal power continues to reduce, and this is being assisted by the sustained pressure the offshore wind marketplaces on the supply chain domestically and abroad.”

Atlantis announced last year its intention to develop the next phase of its MeyGen tidal stream array which is expected to add an additional 80 MW of tidal capacity to the existing project site – located between the island of Stroma in the Pentland Firth and the mainland.

Additionally, Atlantis currently intends to design, consent, and build the world’s first ocean-powered data centre near and powered by the MeyGen tidal array, with a concept study already completed and design underway.

Atlantis hopes to also connect the data centre to the Celtic Norse subsea fibre optic cable currently in development, a move it hopes will “significantly [enhance] Scotland’s international data connectivity.” Atlantis are targeting an operation date in 2024 for the data centre, in line with the expansion of its MeyGen array.

“Data is being touted as the new oil,” explained Cornelius in September. “It is arguably becoming the world’s most valuable resource, and the amount of data requiring storage is increasing at a staggering pace.

However, data centres are undeniably power hungry, and the clients of data centre operators are rightly demanding power be sourced from renewable and sustainable sources.

“This exciting project represents the marriage of a world leading renewable energy project in MeyGen with a data centre operator that seeks to provide its clients with a large amount of computing power, powered from a sustainable and reliable source – the ocean.”

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