MeyGen has agreed terms for a funding package to finance the construction of the initial phase of its 398 MW tidal array project in the Pentland Firth, Scotland.

The UK Crown Estate has committed to invest nearly £10 million into the project. The money, which comes from the Marine Energy Array Demonstrator (MEAD) scheme, is part of approximately £50 million that has been agreed for the initial 6 MW phase of MeyGen.

The funding syndicate for the first phase also includes Atlantis Resources Ltd, the Department of Energy & Climate Change, Scottish Enterprise via the Renewable Energy Investment Fund (delivered by the Scottish Investment Bank) and Highlands and Islands Enterprise.

This initial stage (Phase 1A) includes the installation of four 1.5 MW turbines offshore as well as the construction of all onshore infrastructure to support the project, including the onshore power conversion centre and grid connection.

Overall, Phase 1 of the project will comprise 61 turbines (86 MW). Construction is expected to begin later this year, with the first electricity due to be delivered to the grid by 2016. Phase 2 comprises the build out of the remainder of the project for up to 398 MW capacity.

The government says that the MeyGen tidal array project has the potential to play ‘a crucial role’ in advancing technology and developing essential construction and operating experience on the path towards larger commercial schemes around the UK and worldwide.

"This innovative and exciting project puts Scotland and the UK on the map as a global leader in marine technology – meaning jobs, better energy security and the potential to export this technology to the world," said Energy Secretary Ed Davey.