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Atlantis names Lockheed Martin as principal contractor to deliver turbine to MeyGen tidal power project

A view of the turbine
A view of the turbine

The majority owner of MeyGen, the world’s largest tidal stream energy project- based in Caithness, has extended a construction contraction with a global defence contractor for the delivery of one of the largest capacity single rotor turbines ever built.

Atlantis’ new 1.5 megawatt AR1500 turbine will be built with the help of Lockheed Martin and is hoped to fulfil the company’s MeyGen project turbine supply obligations.

The 18 metre rotor diameter AR1500 turbine, scheduled for delivery dockside in Scotland in 2016, will be one of the largest capacity single rotor turbines ever built.

It will have an active rotor pitching system and full nacelle yawing capability.

The new contract includes the manufacture of the steel turbine housing, the assembly of all the turbine modules (including the gearbox and generator) and the systems integration and quality assurance of the overall turbine delivery programme.

Lockheed and Atlantis are working with the supply chain in Scotland to maximise local content for the AR1500.

This announcement marks the latest step in the Atlantis – Lockheed Martin relationship and builds on Lockheed Martin’s contribution under the AR1500 detailed design contract.

The yaw drive and variable pitch system that will be integrated into the AR1500 are being developed and manufactured by Lockheed Martin as part of their commitment under the existing technology partnership teaming agreement struck between Atlantis and Lockheed in 2013.

Tim Cornelius, chief executive of Atlantis, said: “This new multi-million pound contract with Lockheed Martin further develops the strong relationship that exists between the two companies who are at the forefront of tidal power generation.

“Lockheed Martin has been a strong partner and supporter of Atlantis for a number of years and we look forward to continuing to work alongside this global technology giant as we continue to deliver turbine systems for installation on the MeyGen project going forward.”

Atlantis also announced that contractors will from today commence horizontal directional drilling operations at the MeyGen site in Caithness, to create the bores for the cables which will link the onshore site at Ness of Quoys with the four subsea turbines.

Each of the four bores will be approximately 550m long, and is designed to contain a 4.4kV cable through which tidally generated energy can be exported from the turbines to the onshore grid connection.

The drilling is expected to take four months and will be carried out by Manchester-based O’Connor Utilities Ltd.

Construction works have been underway at the onshore site since January to prepare the necessary infrastructure for this important phase of the project.

MeyGen was one of the first tidal projects in the world to secure the necessary planning consent, lease agreement, grid connection and power purchase agreement in order to begin onshore and offshore construction.

Construction of the first phase of the project is expected to take place throughout 2015 and 2016, with first power being delivered to the grid for sale in 2016.

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