SCOTLAND became a world leader in tidal power generation yesterday when it was announced that the giant MeyGen tidal power array in the Pentland Firth had completed its construction phase.

MeyGen, which will eventually be the world’s largest tidal energy project, yesterday officially entered its 25-year operations phase, putting predictable renewable power – the holy grail of renewables – into the National Grid.

Chief developer Atlantis, a global leader in the marine power generation sector, said it was proud to announce that Phase 1A (the construction phase) of the MeyGen project has now been completed.

At 6MW rated capacity, MeyGen is the world’s largest tidal stream array. Its four turbines have already set world records for the amount of energy generated in a month.

The latest achievement follows on from an extended period of array operation since the turbines were reinstalled in 2017. The array has generated approximately 6GWh of energy to date and in March set a new world record for monthly production from a tidal stream array, generating 1400MWh.

The completion of the construction of Phase 1A combined with the ongoing production and reliability levels achieved help to progress the viability of tidal stream energy as a clean and predictable energy source.

Atlantis has an international portfolio of opportunities for further tidal array projects. The MeyGen project alone has 392MW of further development capacity, with consents and grid connection agreements in place to pave the way to exploit more of this potential.

The project between the north of the Scottish mainland and the island of Stroma has received support from the Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise, Highland and Islands Enterprise, the Crown Estate Scotland, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and others.

Scotland’s Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse said: “Support from the Scottish Government has been instrumental in getting the company to this stage.

“From granting a marine licence in 2014, to providing over £23 million of investment in phase 1A of the project, and to officially launching the project in 2016, Scottish Ministers have been actively involved in MeyGen’s success from the start.”

Tim Cornelius, Atlantis CEO and MeyGen chairman, said: “We welcome Paul Wheelhouse’s warm words regarding today’s major milestone at MeyGen and would like to thank him for his support for the project.

“Seeing the MeyGen project move into the operations phase is another major milestone on the path to commercialising tidal stream energy.

“We would like to thank all our funders, contractors and share- holders for their unwavering support and belief in the project over the years.

“I would especially like to thank Scottish Enterprise, Highland and Islands Enterprise, Crown Estate Scotland, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), Morgan Stanley and Engie.

“We would also like to highlight the invaluable contributions made by the two turbine suppliers, the highly skilled local supply chain in Scotland and the MeyGen project team.

“Their commitment and dedication to deliver the project from concept design to commercial operation over the years has been truly exceptional.

“We are incredibly proud of this achievement and this provides a solid platform for building out the full capacity at MeyGen and many other similar sites worldwide.

“This achievement is a triumph of public policy and a demonstration of what can be achieved when government and the private sector roll their sleeves up and decide to create a whole new industry together.”