Black & Veatch has released a comprehensive lifecycle assessment of the 6-MW MeyGen 6 tidal stream energy array in Scotland’s Pentland Firth. The company says this assessment shares lessons learnt during the planning, design, delivery and operation of the array.
The 6-MW Phase 1A of the project was partly funded through a £10 million (US$12.5 million) grant from the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), with a requirement that lessons learnt from the project were collated and shared.
MeyGen Phase 1A entered its 25-year operations phase in April 2018. The array has exported 21 GWh of electricity to the grid to date, with an average turbine availability of about 95% during its operational phase. The assessment explains what worked well and what was less successful and — based on this knowledge — makes recommendations to enhance the success of future projects.
“The assessment offers valuable lessons for everyone involved in developing tidal-stream energy as a viable source of power,” according to Tim Baker, Black & Veatch marine energy director. “At each point in the asset’s lifecycle the report identifies where efficiencies, cost savings, economies of scale and improvements can be achieved. Crucially, the assessment also shares safer ways of working in the potentially high-risk marine environment.”
Tidal stream energy could theoretically supply more than 150 TWh per annum globally. This represents a potential total global market of up to 50 GW of generating capacity. The predictable nature of tidal energy makes it a valuable part of a balanced energy mix, helping to balance load and demand alongside other forms of renewables such as wind and solar power.
MeyGen PLC is a Scottish-registered company established in 2010 for the purpose of developing the MeyGen Tidal Energy Project.
Black & Veatch — an employee-owned company that specializes in building critical human infrastructure in energy, water, telecommunications and government services — authored the MeyGen Lessons Learnt Summary Report on behalf of BEIS using information supplied by MeyGen.