Tidal energy is viewed by many as the future of renewable energy technologies, and despite the need for expensive undersea experiments, it is becoming increasingly popular mainly due to its predictability. The UK is the birthplace of commercial tidal energy, and Scotland’s Inner Sound has some of the world's most powerful tidal streams with current speeds up to 5m per second! MeyGen will take advantage of all that untapped energy…
The MeyGen project in figures
Atlantis Resources is the company behind the MeyGen project, which is estimated to cost £1billion ($1.5 billion). 269 turbines will be placed on the seabed and will generate 398 MW of power, able to cover the needs of 175,000 homes onshore.
The UK is at the forefront of developments within the tidal power sector and the geography of the region provides it with massive potential. ‘The UK is now synonymous with tidal power in the same way tech is with Silicon Valley’, says the CEO of Atlantis, Tim Cornelius.
ScottishPower Renewables joined forces with Atlantis Resources (in December 2015) to establish the largest tidal stream portfolio in the UK. They aim to install 640MW of tidal power capacity by 2022 in Scotland alone, hoping the government will set a target of getting 50% of all energy from renewables by 2030.
Meygen and Paimpol-Brehat (a tidal turbine farm under development in France) are the two projects that are estimated to operate within 2016.
Tidal turbines vs other renewables
Tidal energy seems to have some advantages in comparison to other renewable technologies, such as the fact that they do not have a visual impact (unlike wind turbines) because they are completely emerged under water. Also, water is 800 times denser than air, making tidal turbines much more effective and smaller than wind turbines. And most importantly, because of the regularity of the moon cycle, they can guarantee continuous power generation unlike other renewables.
Scotland is a world leader in ocean power, and is also planning to build the world’s largest offshore wind farm. Renewable sources are becoming a priority for the Scottish!!
The new gen AR1500 (Atlantis Resources)
Foundation pylon/ onshore works (Atlantis Resources)
Cables to be placed underwater (Atlantis Resources)
Onshore site of MeyGen (Atlantis Resources)