World's biggest tidal turbine unveiled

A renewable energy company has unveiled what it says is the largest and most powerful tidal turbine ever built.

A renewable energy company has unveiled what it says is the largest and most powerful tidal turbine ever built.

The AK1000, developed by Atlantis Resources Corporation, was shown off at Invergordon on the Cromarty Firth before it is installed in a dedicated berth at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) later this summer.

Measuring in at 22.5 metres high, the turbine is capable of generating enough electricity for more than 1,000 homes.

It weighs 130 tonnes and is designed for harsh weather and rough, open-ocean environments, such as those found off the Scottish coast.

Once it is installed at the EMEC site on the seabed off Orkney, it will be connected to the grid and tested for three years.

Atlantis chief executive officer Timothy Cornelius said: "The unveiling and installation of the AK1000 is an important milestone, not only for Atlantis but for the marine power industry in the United Kingdom.

"It represents the culmination of 10 years of hard work, dedication and belief from all our partners, staff, directors and shareholders.

"The AK1000 is capable of unlocking the economic potential of the marine energy industry in Scotland and will greatly boost Scotland's renewable generation capacity in the years to come."

Atlantis said that the AK1000 development programme has so far injected more than £5 million into the UK's renewable energy sector, with companies around the country involved in making it.

Mr Cornelius added: "We are at the start of a new industrial boom, akin to the development of the North Sea oil and gas fields.

"If we receive the same support from all levels of government that the oil and gas industry received to make the North Sea the success that it is, then the future is very bright for marine power and even brighter for Scotland."

Earlier this year the Crown Estate leased 10 sites in Scotland's Pentland Firth and Orkney waters for wave and tidal energy development.

Six sites have been allocated for wave energy developments potentially generating 600 megawatts (MW) of power and four for tidal projects, also generating 600MW, with the 10 sites making energy enough to power up to 750,000 homes.

Atlantis was not one of the companies to lease a site but it is taking an interest in UK and international sites.

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