Photo: MeyGen turbine ahead of installation (Courtesy of Simec Atlantis Energy)

Simec Atlantis’ tidal power division preps for busy start to new year

Tidal power division of Simec Atlantis is getting ready for the busy start of 2021 with tidal turbine retrieval and installation operations scheduled for projects both in Scotland and Japan.

A photo of MeyGen turbine ahead of installation (Courtesy of Simec Atlantis Energy)
MeyGen turbine ahead of installation (Courtesy of Simec Atlantis Energy)

Installed at an offshore site between Scotland’s northernmost coast and the island of Stroma, Simec Atlantis’ flagship MeyGen project has reached another milestone with 35GWh of clean power exported to the UK grid so far.

However, the phase 1 of the MeyGen project has faced some operational challenges recently and one of the 1.5MW turbines supplied by Andritz Hydro Hammerfest will therefore require retrieval for repair in early 2021.

A photo of Andritz Hydro Hammerfest turbine being installed at MeyGen (Courtesy of Simec Atlantis Energy)
Andritz Hydro Hammerfest turbine being installed at MeyGen (Courtesy of Simec Atlantis Energy)

The malfunctioning turbine will be recovered during the same offshore operation to redeploy the AR1500 turbine which was retrieved in August 2020 for repair and repower, according to Simec Atlantis.

Another upcoming installation operation has been scheduled for Simec Atlantis’ tidal turbines, set to take place in the straits of Naru Island within the southern Japanese Goto island chain.

Namely, Simec Atlantis said it is on target to deliver and deploy an AR500 turbine system to Japan’s Kyuden Mirai Energy’s demonstrator project.

The 500kW turbine is currently in transit and is due to be installed in the first quarter of 2021, Simec Atlantis confirmed.

The demonstrator project will seek to capitalize on Japan’s wealth of tidal resources, said to some of the best in the world. Earlier in 2020, the company opened its first office in Japanese prefecture of Nagasaki under the name Atlantis Operations Japan.

At the time, SImec Atlantis said the primary function of the new entity will be to manage the development of the demonstrator project, as SIMEC Atlantis committed to deliver all onshore and offshore construction works under the contract with Kyuden Mirai Energy.

Simec Atlantis take on UK’s and EU’s commitments for tidal power

Simec Atlantis has welcomed the recently announced plans for a UK Contract for Difference round four, set to open in late 2021 and include a separate ‘pot’ for fixed offshore wind which has now progressed to being a more established technology.

“Simec Atlantis will continue to work with UK government and the tidal industry to ensure the optimal framework is in place to stimulate the UK’s growing tidal energy sector and replicate the successful growth and price reduction curve of offshore wind,” Simec Atlantis said in a statement.

In Europe, the recently published EU Strategy on Offshore Renewable Energy set ambitious targets for 40GW of ocean energy by 2050, including at least 1GW by 2030.

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Ocean technologies are recognised as having a significant part to play in Europe’s energy system, in particular by supporting grid stability and aiding island decarbonisation.

The strategy sets a goal of implementing 100MW of pilot projects by 2025 and Simec Atlantis, through its French joint venture Normandie Hydroliennes, is ideally positioned to play a key role in achieving this goal, according to the company.

Tim Cornelius, CEO of Atlantis, said: “2020 has presented significant challenges for us all but it has also presented many opportunities of which we have been able to take advantage with the support of our shareholders and stakeholders.

“As a result, 2021 is looking to be a very positive year of milestone achievements across all of our divisions and I am extremely proud of the Atlantis team for the dedication and hard work they have put in given the challenges the COVID 19 pandemic has presented”.