Europe’s tidal energy industry reached an important milestone on 12 September with the official launch of the world’s first multi-megawatt tidal farm, the Meygen project in Scotland. The event  was attended by Nicola Sturgeon, the First Minister of Scotland, who performed the unveiling ceremony at the Nigg Energy Park quayside, Inverness.
“The MeyGen farm is an important pathfinder for the sector and will further prove the viability of tidal energy as an investment opportunity. In the coming years, success at MeyGen and other pioneering projects will open up tidal energy markets around the world, just like we’ve seen happen with wind and solar energy”, said Rémi Gruet, CEO of Ocean Energy Europe, the promoter and joint developer of the project.
Of the four  200 tonne 1.5 MW turbines that make up Phase 1A, three were built by Andritz and one, an AR1500 turbine, by Atlantis. The next stage is to position them on top of their foundation structures on the quayside at Nigg ready for deployment to the MeyGen site in the Pentland Firth. The turbines and their foundations will be transported to the site by the Neptune jack-up vessel operated by Geoseas, a subsidiary of the DEME Group. When all its phases have been completed, the Meygen array will consist of 269 turbines generating around 400 MWe.
The ceremony took place on the Nigg quayside where the first fully assembled turbine, standing 15 metres tall and with blades 18 metres in diameter, was unveiled by the First Minister.  The event follows on from the MeyGen project’s successful connection to the 33 kV Ness of Quoys distribution network in June this year following the installation of one of the longest underground 33kV power export cables in the UK by the network operator, Scottish Hydro Electric Power Distribution.
Atlantis remains on track to deliver first power to the grid from MeyGen Phase 1A later this year.