World’s Largest Tidal Project Begins

16th February 2015

Hot on the heels of Swansea Bay’s tidal lagoon taking serious steps towards getting the green light, Pentland Firth’s MeyGen tidal stream project in Scotland has finally begun construction.

The tidal lagoon project is set to be the world’s largest development of its kind, with an estimated 398MW of energy to be generated by its 269 water turbines.

The initial three-month stage will be used to construct the 340m road that will allow access for construction vehicles, followed by a yearlong onshore building plan.

Atlantis Resources, the tidal power generation company in charge of the £70 million project, say they took on the development because although they deal with tidal energy projects throughout the world, including in China, Canada and India, the UK is a vast untapped resource for clean, renewable energy. The United Kingdom as a whole has 29TWh in tidal currents at its disposal every year, with 11TWh in Pentland Firth alone due to some of the highest regular tides in the country.

Once development has ended, the MeyGen tidal stream project will be the world’s largest collection of tidal energy turbines. The four initial turbines will begin generating power next year, before increasing in size to 61 submerged turbines–enough to power 42,000 homes. By the conclusion of this massive 10-year endeavour, the 269 total tidal turbines will be enough to supply clean, sustainable energy to 175,000 properties in Scotland.