Scottish mainland gets electricity from tidal power for first time

Atlantis, the company behind project MayGen, hopes to eventually deploy up to 269 turbines

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The Independent Online

Scotland's mainland has received electricity from tidal power for the first time ever.

A 1.5MW tidal stream turbine off the Caithness coast started operating last week, sending power back to the shore.

Atlantis, the company behind project MayGen, hopes to eventually deploy up to 269 turbines, which will generate around 400MW of electricity, the BBC reported.

A single megawatt can potentially power hundreds of homes, opening up the possibility of hundreds of thousands of homes in Scotland being powered by the North Sea. 

The successful launch follows the laying of sea cables from the tidal power site back to the shore in 2015, and the construction of four foundations in the sea for the turbines earlier this year.

Tim Cornelius, chief executive of Atlantis, said: "This is the moment we have been working towards since we first identified the MeyGen site back in 2007.

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“It's especially exciting to be making this announcement on the morning after the first 'super moon' in 68 years.

“Last night, those of us with clear skies were able to get a good view of the powerhouse behind tidal energy, and be reminded that even in times like these there are still predictions we can rely on."

The Scottish Government provided £23m in funding to help develop what is being hailed as the world’s first large-scale tidal energy farm.

The development comes just months after turbines off the coast of Shetland became the first to deliver electricity to the grid.