SIMEC Atlantis partners with GE on world’s largest tidal stream turbine

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Australian-founded SIMEC Atlantis Energy will partner with General Electric’s Power Conversion business to develop the world’s largest tidal stream turbine.

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Renewable energy project developer SIMEC Atlantis Energy has announced it will partner with General Electric’s Power Conversion business to develop the world’s largest tidal stream turbine.

Designs for the ground-breaking 2MW turbines were unveiled in September last year by SIMEC Atlantis Energy, a company that was formed when the Australian-founded Atlantis became a part of Sanjeev Gupta’s GFG Alliance group.

The two companies announced last week the signing of a Technology Partnership and Preferred Supplier Agreement which will see them working together to further the development of the MeyGen tidal stream project in the Pentland Firth, Scotland, and to promote tidal stream technology and develop large-scale projects to tap into an estimated 300,000GW of tidal energy.

GE’s Power Conversion business will provide the tidal turbine generators and the power converters for the addition of two of SEMEC Atlantis’ new AR2000 (2 MW) tidal turbines to the MeyGen project.

“We are excited to partner with GE to deliver the MeyGen tidal project,” said Drew Blaxland, director of turbine and engineering services, Atlantis.

“We strongly believe (it) has the potential to provide home-grown transformation of the U.K. energy market and will redefine what the world can expect from renewable tidal energy.”

The two companies will first focus on developing the second phase of the MeyGen tidal stream array, known as Project Stroma, which will see a further 6MW of power generation capacity added to the existing 6MW.

Currently, the MeyGen project consists of 4 AR1500 turbines (1.5 MW) which, completed in March of 2018, generated over 8GWh of electricity throughout construction and through to the beginning of July 2018 – which itself included a world record 1.4GWh in a single month, enough electricity to supply the equivalent energy for 5,420 households.

“GE is a world leader in power conversion equipment development and supply,” continued Drew Blaxland.

“The AR2000 is expected to be the world’s largest single axis tidal turbine and it will be deployed on the world’s largest tidal power project. We want to partner with the world’s best companies; leaders in technology and innovation.

This agreement with GE is a clear demonstration of our commitment to working with industry leading companies to deliver utility scale tidal power.  As the sole supplier of turbine generation equipment to the second phase of the MeyGen Project in Scotland, partnering with GE unlocks enormous opportunities to build on 10 years of R&D to now deliver more cost-effective, cleaner tidal power solutions for developers around the world.

“We expect that the AR2000 will become the system of choice for developers of tidal power projects around the world. Developed and built in Britain and then exported around the world.”

Gagan Sood, the CEO of industry, power, water and wind for GE’s Conversion business described the deal as a major step forward towards large-scale tidal energy production.

“We are committed to doing our part in innovating green energy to meet growing cleaner energy demands,” he said.

“There is in total 300,000 gigawatts of untapped tidal energy hidden under the waters — a potential that is simply too big to be ignored,” added Azeez Mohammed, CEO of GE’s Power Conversion business.

“Breaking through the barriers of innovation within marine power, the pioneering MeyGen project is a prime example of what advanced technology could deliver.”

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