Tidal Energy Developer SAE said Wednesday it had deployed the upgraded 'Turbine 2' at the MeyGen tidal energy project site, located off the northern tip of Scotland.
SAE said that the turbine had undergone significant upgrades to improve performance and reliability.
"One of the major steps was to convert the turbine to use a wet-mate connection system. This dramatically reduces costs and time for future maintenance work. This innovation has been a key development in ensuring the next phase of turbines deployed at the MeyGen site are the most advanced and deliver the best performance in the industry," SAE added.
"This innovation wouldn't have been possible without the support of the EU-funded, Tidal Stream Industry Energiser Project, known as TIGER," SAE said.
"As a demonstrator project, the lessons learnt, improvements, and innovations are key to unlocking commercial and scalable projects. With this in mind, SAE has made the decision to bring forward the reshoring of 'Turbine 4' to allow for preventative maintenance and upgrade work. This will also continue to allow SAE to drive the improvements, learning, and data needed to unlock the next phase of turbines at the MeyGen site," SAE said.
Graham Reid, CEO of SAE Renewables said: "The value in MeyGen phase 1 for SAE and the industry is in proving the technology but also in the constant innovation and lessons learnt that allow us to unlock truly scalable and commercial projects. The successful upgrade and deployment is a major milestone, and I wanted to add a personal thank you to all the team who have gone above and beyond to enable this. Their hard work and passion deserve recognition, without them, there is no industry, and they should be incredibly proud of another milestone achieved."
MeyGen Phase 1
The first phase of the MeyGen project comprises four 1.5MW turbines installed on gravity turbine support structures. The first phase demonstrates that the development of tidal arrays is both commercially viable and technically feasible. Operating since March 2018, the project has delivered over 51GWh of electricity by March 2023
Each turbine has three blades with a rotor diameter of 18m. The 150t turbines are mounted on a 1450t gravity foundation that supports the turbines under their own weight in average flow speeds of up to 10 knots.
The turbines feed into the onshore power conversion unit building at the Ness of Quoys, where the 4kV supply passes through an ABB PCS6000 converter to be made grid code compliant at 33kV for export into the local distribution network. Based on average UK annual consumption of 3.1MWh per annum, this phase of the tidal array generates sufficient electricity to supply circa 6,000 homes, according to info on SAE's website.
Phase 1 incorporates two different turbine technologies (SAE's AR1500 and Andritz Hydro Hammerfest AH1000 MK1).
The second phase - Meygen Phase 2 - is a 27MW development with planned commissioning in 2027.
According to SAE's website, the MeyGen offshore lease and site resource allows for a capacity out to 398MW to be installed.