Tidal power company Atlantis’ majority owned MeyGen project has entered into agreements with windfarm developments to provide access to the distribution grid.
This is needed because part of the Ness of Quoys distribution network is constrained and will provide no additional capacity for other generators until larger transmission upgrades are completed over the next few years.
The predictable and cyclical nature of tidal generation can facilitate other energy projects to gain access to the grid at times when the MeyGen project is not producing at its maximum output.
With the first phase recently connected to the 33kV scottish network, the MeyGen project is ready to deliver first power in the second half of this year. This enables increased power generation in the short-term from the rich renewable resources of the area.
Lochend Wind Energy is also building a windfarm close to MeyGen’s onshore site in Caithness. The company entered into an agreement with MeyGen to enable these turbines to supply electricity to the grid whenever the MeyGen tidal project fails to make full use of available export capacity.
These combinations are believed to be the first of its kind in the UK.
Atlantis’ CEO Tim Cornelius said: "We believe this to be a world first, and to show that the predictability of generation from the tides can also benefit other forms of renewable energy by allowing those generators to accurately forecast and access spare grid capacity.
"Tidal power makes for more efficient grid use and management, and we are delighted to have been able to assist a local windfarm in getting connected."