MeyGen named as successful bidder for Pentland Firth "Crown Jewel" site
26th October 2010
MeyGen today announces entry into an 'Agreement for Lease' with The Crown Estate for the Pentland Firth Inner Sound tidal power site. MeyGen is a joint venture between independent power generator International Power plc (45%), investment bank Morgan Stanley (45%), and tidal technology provider Atlantis Resources Corporation (10%),
dedicated to developing the Inner Sound tidal site.
This award is the culmination of over two years of feasibility work conducted by consortium partners in the Pentland Firth and grants MeyGen an exclusive right to take forward the Inner Sound tidal development and take up a 25-year operational lease. The project, subject to obtaining all relevant statutory consents, is estimated to be able to generate up to 400MW, which is the equivalent electricity used by approximately 400,000 homes, purely from the energy generated from the tides.
Construction is planned to occur over a phased build out programme between the award of planning consent and 2020. The first step will be to deploy a limited turbine array to assess the environmental impact of the tidal turbines and inform the detailed planning for future phases. In addition to technology supplied by shareholder Atlantis, MeyGen has
agreed to offer 10MW of capacity to TGL Rolls-Royce during this demonstration phase.
The project area is 3.3km2 and located in a stretch of high flowing water between the Island of Stroma and the mainland of Caithness in Northern Scotland.
On completion of the final phase, the company expects to have installed up to 400 tidal turbines which will be completely submerged such as the ones recently installed at the European Marine Energy Centre by Atlantis. Commenting on the announcement, Dan Pearson, CEO of MeyGen said: "We are obviously delighted to have been awarded the lease of this site by The Crown Estate and recognise the trust that they, the local community and all Stakeholders place in us to work together to ensure the success of this high profile project."
The Inner Sound site is recognised as the "Crown Jewel" of The Pentland Firth due to the quality of the tidal resource and its proximity to the mainland for grid connection points. MeyGen has committed to develop the project in close liaison with the Caithness community, making a priority of local stakeholder engagement, to support the growth of the marine power sector in the UK.
"The MeyGen project will be seen as a flagship marine power project. In cooperation with the local community, The Crown Estate and all levels of Government, we are committed to making tidal power a success not only for our shareholders, but for Scotland as well", said Dan Pearson.
The Pentland Firth and water surrounding the Orkney Islands are the first areas to be made available for commercial scale development of wave and tidal energy in the United Kingdom. With potential generating capacity totalling 1,600MW, including the Inner Sound site, the wave and tidal projects announced under The Crown Estate Marine
Energy Round 1 are the largest planned development of wave and tidal energy worldwide.
Charles Rankin, Head of Morgan Stanley's EMEA Power & Gas business, stated that: "As a long-time supporter of tidal power, Morgan Stanley is delighted with today's decision by The Crown Estate and is proud to be involved in such an important and entrepreneurial project. It represents another significant step in the evolution of marine power as a viable renewable generation asset class".
Dr Edward Metcalfe, Director of Operations & Engineering at International Power plc said: "This is a major step forward in the development of this project, which offers an ideal platform for advancing this technology and commercial rollout".
John Thurso, MP for Caithness, Sutherland & Easter Ross said: "Caithness and surrounding regions have a real opportunity to lead an international revolution in energy, by building a world-beating marine power industry. We have the natural resource, we have the skills and we have the desire. This is no longer a dream - and I am thrilled that projects
such as MeyGen will bring some of the biggest names in marine power, energy and finance to Caithness."