Scotland has unveiled world's largest free stream tidal power project MeyGen in the Pentland Firth, marking a significant step ahead in the development of the country’s marine energy industry.

Owned by tidal power generation company Atlantis Resources, the 400MW MeyGen project is being developed in phases and is supported by Scottish Government’s Renewable Energy Investment Fund (REIF), which is administered by Scottish Enterprise.

The four 1.5MW turbines, which make up Phase 1A, are now being fully assembled and will be positioned on top of their foundation structures on the quayside at Nigg.

Scotland has earlier provided £23m funding to the first phase of the MeyGen project.

The turbines and their foundations will later be transported to the project site in the Pentland Firth through a DP2 jack-up vessel, operated by Geosea, a subsidiary of the DEME Group.

The Crown Estate’s Scotland Portfolio general manager Ronnie Quinn said: “The installation of the MeyGen turbines is a hugely significant milestone for the project and for the sector as a whole.

“The Crown Estate has been working with Atlantis Resources over a number of years, providing specialist support on seabed leasing and investing nearly £10 million in the project to help unlock Scotland’s tidal energy potential.

“With the deployment of these turbines in a commercial array, a world first, Scotland and the UK remain at the forefront of this industry.”

The projects will feature up to 269 turbines to generate clean electricity required to power 175,000 homes.  

In June 2016, Atlantis has connected the MeyGen tidal project to the 33kV Ness of Quoys distribution network in the country.

It follows the installation of 33kV power export cables by Scottish Hydro Electric Power Distribution, which is the network operator.

Atlantis plans to generate first power from the MeyGen Phase 1A later this year.

Image: The MeyGen tidal stream project will feature 269 turbines.  Photo: Courtesy of ABB.