Development Phases

The key phases of the project from contract award at the end of 2011 are as follows:

MeyGen has submitted applications for consent for Phase 1 of the Project under the following legislation:

  • Section 36 consent under the Electricity Act 1989 for development of offshore generating stations over 1MW within territorial waters.
  • Marine licence under Section 25 of the Marine (Scotland) Act 2010 covering construction and deposit of structures below Mean High Water Springs (MHWS).
  • Planning permission under Section 28 of the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1997 required for all onshore aspects of the Project to the Mean Low Water Springs (MLWS).

MeyGen has secured a 15MW connection to the local distribution network managed by Scottish Hydro Electric Power Distribution plc. (SHEPD). This connection will be provided at the Power Conversion Centre site and will be available in 2014.

MeyGen has also secured a further connection to the high voltage transmission network with Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission Ltd. (SHETL). The connection will provide enough capacity to cover a large proportion of the remainder of the Project. SHETL has proposed significant upgrades of the transmission network in the local area including an extension of the 132kV transmission network to Gills Bay. The extension will include a proposed 132kV/33kV substation at Phillips Mains.

MeyGen undertook an initial design phase (Concept Design) to evaluate engineering options and alternatives for the Project. This work was completed in November 2009, following which there has been a two year period of Front End Engineering Design (FEED) which concluded in December 2011. During these design stages options for the locations of the offshore and onshore components of the Project were considered and engineering solutions have been developed. The final project design stage (Detailed Design) will begin in 2013.

On the basis that the project receives government sanction in Q2 2013 and a subsequent positive financial investment decision is made by the MeyGen Board, Procurement activities will start in Q2/Q3 2013

Contracts that will be issued during this stage will include:

  • Tidal turbines
  • Cabling (on and offshore)
  • Directional Drilling and other civil works
  • Onshore construction
  • Onshore power conditioning equipment
  • Turbine foundations
  • Marshalling yard upgrades

The timing of letting such contracts will be after Detail Design in Q4 2013

Onshore works will include the construction of the substation, the directional drilling of the ducts from shore to the seabed, the installation of the cables from the substation at to the grid connection point at Gills Bay and any modifications required at this receiving substation. Additionally, any modifications required to the facilities for installation and operations at Scrabster Harbour will be undertaken (subject to commercial terms being agreed).

Final construction, assembly and pre-commissioning of the offshore works (predominantly turbines) it is hoped, will take place in Scrabster Harbour, which will be used as the marshalling yard (subject to commercial terms being agreed).

Installation activities will be carefully planned and undergo rigorous technical and health and safety audits to ensure minimum risk to personnel, equipment and the environment. Although the logistics plan for carrying out the installation is understood, MeyGen is currently in discussions with third parties as to how best service this critical and costly component.

The following steps illustrate an example installation and commissioning sequence for the initial turbine array:

  • Installation of foundations, installation of export cables and connection into substation
  • Pre-commissioning of electrical cabling
  • Installation of turbines
  • Electrical connection (data and power) to turbines
  • Full commissioning of each turbine, singly and as an array

The Operations and Maintenance strategy has been developed as part of the Front End Engineering Design and MeyGen is currently undergoing discussions with 3rd parties as to how best to service this key stage.