Scottish-made tidal turbine now generating power in Japan

Hailed by the Scottish government as a win for Scotland’s marine energy industry, a Scottish built tidal turbine has been installed in Japan and has clocked its first 10MWh of clean electricity generation after 10 days of operation.

Designed and manufactured by Simec Atlantis Energy (SAE) at its base at Nigg Energy Park north of Inverness, the AR500 tidal turbine was leased by Kyuden Mirai Energy (KME) for a pilot project in the straits of Naru Island in the southern Japanese Goto island chain. It was assembled and tested in nine weeks before being shipped to Japan.

SAE also provided offshore construction services to install the turbine. The company said it took five days to lay the cable, sink the turbine’s foundation mount and ballast to the sea floor, and affix the turbine. 

"We are proud of our team, who worked efficiently and most of all safely during a worldwide pandemic, to bring tidal stream energy to Japan," said SAE chief executive Graham Reid.

Reid praised KME, who he said was supported by a consortium of local and international stakeholders, and the Scottish government who "continue to support and champion the tidal industry and maximise the benefits to Scotland".

"This is a huge milestone for the deployment of clean, renewable energy from tidal stream and we hope it will be the first of many tidal turbines installed in Japan," he said.

Scotland’s Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse said: "For over 10 years the Scottish Government has championed the development and deployment of marine energy. We have worked extensively to support the research, development, innovation and demonstration that has made Scotland a global leader in both tidal and wave technology, with several World firsts and initiatives having been progressed in Scotland’s waters.

"I would like to congratulate Simec Atlantis Energy on achieving this significant milestone for the company and also for the workers at Nigg Energy Park who built the turbine which is now successfully generating clean, green electricity in Japan."

Image: The AR500 tidal turbine was designed and manufactured by Simec Atlantis Energy (SAE) at its base at Nigg Energy Park north of Inverness (Photograph courtesy of Simec Atlantis Energy)

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