- Four turbines off the north coast of Scotland generated enough energy to power nearly 4,000 homes in 2019.
- Sitting in a natural channel, they harness the energy of the changing currents and are helping build the case for tidal as the energy source of the future.
- To date, very little research has been done into the impact tidal projects have on the surrounding marine environment.
Sitting off the north coast of Scotland, on the depths of the ocean floor, a gigantic feat of engineering has just achieved a significant milestone.
MeyGen, the world’s largest tidal array, has completed the longest ever run of uninterrupted generation by a multi-megawatt tidal turbine, powering almost 4,000 homes in 2019.
The four giant turbines have now exported 24.7 gigawatt hours (GWh) of predictable renewable power to the national grid. And this is just the first phase of a project that could eventually power 175,000 homes with more than 250 submerged turbines.
The array is off the mainland of Scotland, near the uninhabited island of Stroma, in a natural channel that speeds up the tidal flow of water between the North Sea and Atlantic Ocean.
Like giant underwater windmills, the turbine rotors are driven by the fast-moving currents, which in turn drive generators that then produce electricity. They are fixed to the sea bed and connected to the grid via an armoured cable.