Siemens is to sell its Bristol, UK-based tidal energy company, Marine Current Turbines, to tidal energy developer Atlantis Resources.
Atlantis, which is behind the largest planned tidal development project in the world, says the move will create one of the largest portfolios of tidal current power projects in the UK under the Atlantis power generation business.
Atlantis Resources, which was founded in Australia and has offices in Singapore, is behind the MeyGen project in Scotland’s Pentland Firth – an up to 398MW project, construction on which started this year.
The project’s first phase will install four 1.5MW turbines offshore and construct the onshore infrastructure to support the project. When fully operational the 398MW array will generate electricity to power 175,000 homes by the early 2020s.
The company was also recently awarded a feed-in-tariff for an up to 4.5MW project at the Fundy Ocean Research Center for Energy (FORCE) offshore Nova Scotia, Canada. It is also looking at a development in China, where it has supplied equipment for a state-funded program, and India.
Through the acquisition of MCT, Atlantis’ portfolio will include projects in Wales, Northern Ireland and southern England and adds 200MW potential project development capacity to Atlantis’ existing capacity, increasing it to 600MW.
Tim Cornelius, CEO of Atlantis, said: “This deal sees two industry leaders, MCT and Atlantis, combining to underpin the UK’s position as one of Europe’s tidal power leaders.”
Atlantis’ acquisition will include MCT’s technology as well as seabed rights secured by MCT, existing projects, staff and intellectual property. This includes MCT’s SeaGen 1MW fully submerged turbine (SeaGen U), SeaGen F, developed for floating deployment, and SeaGen S, a 1.2MW surface piercing turbine. The latter is being used in what Atlantis describes as the first utility-scale electricity generating tidal stream project with the longest track record of generation, having now been operating for over five years in Northern Ireland generating about 10 gigawatt hours of electricity into the grid.
The move will also see the establishment of dedicated turbine assembly facility to be located at Scottish energy services contractor Global Energy’s Nigg Energy Park in Ross-Shire, Scotland.
Under the deal, ongoing working capital of MCT to be financed by a loan package provided by Global Energy Group.
Siemens, which will become a shareholder in Atlantis Resources under the deal, took over Marine Current Turbines (MCT) in 2012, after taking an initial stake in the firm in 2010. MCT was established in 1999 to develop tidal current stream energy devices, based on innovations in the 1970s.
Cornelius added: “Marine Current Turbines has developed a world leading tidal turbine, a world class engineering team, unrivaled expertise in long-term turbine operations and testing through its SeaGen installation at Strangford Lough and an impressive portfolio of projects under development across the UK.