An energy firm with interests in a Canadian tidal project says it plans to begin work on a major tidal generator off the coast of Scotland this month—a move that could have ripple effects across the Atlantic. In December, Atlantis Resources Limited completed a major milestone on its MeyGen tidal stream energy project, winning approval to draw funding from government clean energy grants. The Australian firm plans to build 269 tidal turbines off the coast of northeast Scotland at Ness of Quoys. Once completed, the generators will produce around 400 megawatts of clean power, making MeyGen the largest tidal generator in the world. On-shore work is expected to begin this month, while the company hopes to have 60 underwater turbines installed by 2020. Atlantis Resources expects to begin selling power to the grid in 2016. This is yet another clean energy achievement for Scotland: after a massive year for renewables, the World Wildlife Fund said Scotland’s electricity sector would likely be able to go fossil-fuel-free by 2030.
Atlantis Resources also plans to build a tidal project in the Bay of Fundy, which means the government of Nova Scotia will likely be watching the Scottish project closely. Last year, the company tested the 1.5 megawatt turbine slated for the MeyGen project in the Minas Passage off Nova Scotia. According to the Chronicle Herald, Nova Scotia plans to have 300 megawatts of tidal power online by 2020. Late last month, Atlantis announced it had been granted access to the province’s feed-in tariff program, which pays a higher than market rate per megawatt hour. In BC, PICS has researched the possibility of up to 8 GW of tidal power potential off the coast, but author Neil Salmond of the University of British Columbia found that the BC policies available to private sector tidal energy developers, such as feed-in tariffs and grants, were not competitive with jurisdictions like Nova Scotia and Scotland. Salmond recommends that the province consider credit insurance, or even the development of an associated research centre, to safely and sustainably capitalize on this resource.
The Climate Examiner speaks to BC-based Carbon Engineering about the technology, the business and the policies that could make direct air capture, synfuels and carbon sequestration work.