The world’s first massive tidal energy farm, MyGen, is under development in Pentland Firth, in the northernmost region of Scotland. The submerged turbines are driven by the tidal waves in the ocean to generate power.
The largest tidal energy farm in the world will produce 398 megawatts and will power up more than 175,000 homes in Scotland. The developers of MyGen, Atlantis Resources, said that the installation of the first four turbines would be completed by the end of this year. Depending on the weather conditions and favourable tides, the project will go online in 2017.
If the first phase is completed successfully, the company plans to install more than 269 tidal turbines. Each of the tidal turbines is 50 feet tall, and each blade is approximately thirty feet long. The diameter of the rotor is about 60 feet.
Compared with the wind turbines, the tidal turbines are quite small. Typically, a wind shore turbine system comprises of 200-feet-tall turbines. The Block Island Wind Farm turbines will be twice the size of the Statue of Liberty.
However, the Atlantis Resources said that the sea water is about 800 times denser than the air. Therefore, a tidal current of five knots (5.75 mph) has more energy than a wind current travelling at 217 mph.
The project MyGen was initiated in 2015, and the connecting underwater tunnels have already been completed. These tunnels will link the turbines to the power conversion facility onshore. The site of installation for the tidal turbines was selected only because it has the strongest tidal flows in the UK.
Surveys suggest that, of all the Europe, Scotland holds 25 percent tidal energy potential. The next phase of the MyGen project requires the installation of four more tidal turbines. Atlantis Resources plans to add 53 more in the third phase. The experts believe that the project will be completed by 2020.