ABB to provide UK grid connection for Europe's largest tidal energy project
19th August 2014
ABB, the leading power and automation technology group, has been awarded a contract by Atlantis Resources Limited to provide the onshore grid connection for Phase I of the MeyGen tidal stream project in the Pentland Firth.
The MeyGen tidal stream project is at the forefront of world marine energy development and will harvest the tidal resources of one of the most energetic maritime sites in Europe, the strait connecting the Atlantic Ocean to the North Sea between the Orkney Islands and the Scottish mainland.
The first 6 megawatt (MW) demonstration phase of the UK's first large-scale tidal array scheme will see four submerged turbines installed in the Inner Pentland Firth just north of Caithness, with first power expected to be delivered by 2016.
ABB is responsible for the onshore power conversion and grid connection systems to feed the electricity safely and reliably into the local distribution grid. ABB's project scope includes design, engineering, supply and commissioning of the power conversion, switchgear and transformer solution as well as associated civil engineering and cabling works. Major product supplies include transformers, medium voltage switchgear and power converters.
"We are pleased to facilitate this innovative project and tap the potential of marine energy" said Claudio Facchin, Head of ABB’s Power Systems division. “It reaffirms the faith our customers have in ABB’s technology and proven capability to deliver safe, reliable and efficient grid connections which play a key role in integrating renewables, that are making an increasing contribution to the energy mix."
Studies including those by engineers from the University of Edinburgh and University of Oxford indicate the Pentland Firth’s tidal stream has vast energy potential, with ocean currents estimated at 5 meters (about 11 feet) per second, among the fastest in the British Isles.
“Forming partnerships with the leading players in the energy sector is key to delivering commercial-scale tidal power projects that allow us to harness the untapped potential of global tidal resources. ABB has clearly demonstrated exceptional expertise in this area and we are confident they will deliver the highest quality results. We look forward to working with the team at ABB to ensure the success of the MeyGen project" says Tim Cornelius, Chief Executive Officer, Atlantis Resources Ltd.
The initial phase of the MeyGen development has the potential to generate up to 86 MW of electricity, enough power for around 42,000 homes,potentially catering to the needs of almost 40 percent of households in the Scottish Highlands.
Within the next ten years, MeyGen intends to deploy up to 398 MW of offshore tidal stream turbines in the Pentland Firth to supply clean and renewable electricity to the UK National Grid.
ABB (www.abb.com) is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve their performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in around 100 countries and employs about 145,000 people.