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MeyGen revenue from electricity sales rose to £3.9 million last year – up £2.3 million from 2021

By Gordon Calder

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REVENUE from the electricty produced by the MeyGen tidal energy project in the Pentland Firth rose to £3.9 million last year – up by £2.3 million compared to 2021.

The figure is highlighted in the financial statement issued by Simec Atlantis Energy (SAE) – the company behind the pioneering scheme – for the year ending December, 2022.

It points out that the increase reflects the successful re-deployment of two of the four turbines in the demonstration tidal array in March and September last year. Significant upgrades were made to the turbines – situated between the island of Stroma and the Caithness coast – to improve their performance and reliability.The turbines feed into the onshore power conversion building at the Ness of Quoys.

The statement says group losses for the year fell to £11.1 million compared to £74.1 million in 2021 although revenue dropped from £9.3 million in 2021 to £8.5 million.

"This reflected the completion of the Japanese consulting contract in 2021 and the impact of the sale of Green Highland Renewables in 2021 offset by an improvement in the performance of MeyGen and income from the sale of metals and consumables at the Uskmouth power station," says the statement.

It adds: "Total expenses for the year were £11.6 million, down from £16.6 million in 2021.The reduction reflects the completion of the restructuring of the group during 2022 with average headcount falling from 81 to 22 full-time employees and lower costs incurred on MeyGen operations."

Group total equity at 31 December 2022 was £5.7 million while the figure in 2021 was £16.7 million.

The MeyGen turbines generated electricity sales of £3.9 million last year
The MeyGen turbines generated electricity sales of £3.9 million last year

Duncan Black, the chairman of SAE Renewables, said: "Following the significant restructuring of the business in the first part of 2022, I am pleased to report that during 2022 and into the current year we have seen the group make solid progress on its key projects. Key highlights have been the strong operating performance at MeyGen Phase 1A, and the award of a 28 megawatt Contract for Difference for MeyGen Phase 2."

Simec Atlantis Energy chief executive, Graham Reid, commented: "The business has made significant progress since the beginning of 2022, and I am incredibly proud to have led the committed and dedicated team who delivered this change, ensuring that we are in a strong position to deliver an exciting future for our company and our shareholders."

He stressed that the company’s ambition remains to deliver utility-scale tidal stream energy at the MeyGen site – the the largest of its kind in the world .

In October last year, the company sold its majority stake in its Advanced Tidal Engineering and Services division to a management buy-out team. "This was the best option for the business. As well as allowing us to focus on site delivery it also helped us achieve our focus on reducing operating costs, and together with the net sale proceeds, provides additional funding to support group operations and the development of key projects," added Mr Reid.

Simec Atlantis Energy has also announced plans for the potential combination of the tidal power scheme with its battery energy storage systems business.

As recently reported, Sean Parsons, the SAE director of external affairs, believes the potential of the technology being developed at the MeyGen tidal energy project is "huge".

He said: "Making improvements to the technology is really key to the success of the project. MeyGen is a testing site and our main focus is on how to demonstrate the technology and ensure the turbines can deliver. We want to keep the costs down to make it more commercial and create jobs. Our bigger goal is to make MeyGen effectively a power station which can produce nearly 400 megawatts of power rather than the six which we produce with the four turbines in the demonstration array." Mr Parsons explained that the next phase of the development is to scale up the project to 28 megawatts.

The 3.5 kilometre MeyGen site, which covers some of the fastest flowing waters in the UK, was granted a lease by the Crown Estate in 2010.

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