SIMEC Atlantis Energy has given a contract to ETA for the manufacture and delivery of subsea tidal turbine connection system for the next phase of the MeyGen tidal stream project in Scotland.
The phase 1B of the MeyGen tidal stream project, known as Project Stroma, will see SIMEC Atlantis take up connection of two additional Atlantis AR2000 turbines through the new subsea hub to a single power export cable which will then be linked through the MeyGen substation to the National Grid.
The subsea hub to be delivered by ETA will enable various turbines to be connected to a single power export cable, thereby lowering the costs associated with grid connection to a significant extent.
Further, SIMEC Atlantis said that the length of power export cable and also the amount of onshore conversion equipment needed for grid connection will be reduced significantly by the subsea hub. Likewise, the amount of horizontal directional drilling needed and the amount of vessel time for cable installation will also come down, said the tidal power developer.
Project Stroma, for which an investment decision was made in December 2016, is said to be a key step in showing progress to a lower cost of energy for tidal stream.
The project will utilize larger diameter rotors to capture more energy from the tidal flow, as well as streamline turbine power ratings. According to SIMEC Atlantis, Project Stroma will utilize drilled foundation structures instead of the material intensive gravity foundations used in the preceding phase 1A of the MeyGen tidal stream project.
In the first phase of the tidal energy project, four 1.5MW turbines were installed on gravity turbine support structures.
SIMEC Atlantis turbine and engineering services division director Drew Blaxland said: “The Atlantis subsea hub has been designed to deliver immediate, material reductions in the overall cost of tidal power generation.
“Leveraging technologies developed for the oil & gas and offshore wind industries, we have adapted tested products to our new turbine design to deliver an approximate 50% reduction in the CAPEX costs on a per turbine basis associated with turbine grid connection compared to MeyGen Phase 1.”