The EC’s Horizon 2020 grant will be used for the Demotide project to design, build and operate a 6MW turbine array in the Inner Sound of the Pentland Firth in northern Scotland.

Construction on the project, named MeyGen phase 1B, is scheduled to be commenced in 2017 with first power planned in 2018.

The MeyGen Phase 1B, which is also known as Project Stroma, will be built adjacent to the existing 6MW MeyGen Phase 1A project which was commissioned in November 2016.

The consortium for the new project includes Atlantis unit Marine Current Turbines, Innosea, Queen’s University Belfast as well as DEME, a joint venture of DEME Blue Energy and GeoSea.

Atlantis said that the Demotide project aims to demonstrate the technical and commercial viability of drilled foundation systems and larger rotor diameter turbines.

Atlantis CEO Tim Cornelius said: “The Demotide project is the next significant step in delivering cost effective, reliable tidal stream generation for Europe. 

“This project will help the tidal stream industry demonstrate reductions in the price per unit of electricity by increasing the energy yield per pound of investment.  Demotide will set tidal on a path to cost parity with offshore wind by 2020.”

In addition to further de-risking the industry, the project will provide a robust path to significantly reduce cost in the European tidal power sector.

Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) lead project investigator Dr Shane Donohue said: “We are delighted to be part of the DEMOTIDE project, which has the potential to transform the tidal energy industry through demonstrations of the technical and commercial feasibility of tidal energy systems.

QUB will be involved with monitoring of the system’s performance and will ensure that Demotide’s findings are widely disseminated.”