Lockheed Martin begins work on AR1500 tidal energy turbines

Lockheed Martin has commenced work on a contract with tidal energy developer Atlantis Resources Ltd. that will see the global security and aerospace company provide optimization services for Atlantis' AR1500 turbine.

The 1.5 MW generating units will be one of the largest single-rotor turbines ever developed and will have active rotor pitch and full nacelle yaw rotation, Lockheed Martin said, making the AR1500 one of the most technologically advanced tidal turbines ever produced.

The units will be installed at the MeyGen project in Scotland's Pentland Firth and Canada's Bay of Fundy.

"By 2040, world energy demand is expected to dramatically increase," said Tim Fuhr, director of ocean energy for Lockheed Martin's Mission Systems and Training business. "Lockheed Martin's technology, development and expertise in ocean systems and global system integration skills will enable the AR1500 to use powerful tides to produce safe, clean renewable energy for homes and businesses around the world."

HydroWorld.com reported Atlantis Resources had acquired the 398-MW MeyGen array this past November after previously holding a 10% interest in its developer, MeyGen Limited. Atlantis Resources was then awarded a US$10.55 million grant from the European Commission's Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development in February -- part of which was earmarked for funding Lockheed Martin's detailed design of the AR1500.

"With us acquiring the MeyGen project and receiving full consents to begin construction of the project's first phase, it has been an amazing 12 months of growth for Atlantis," CEO Tim Cornelius said. "Our AR1500 development program with Lockheed Martin will ultimately deliver the rapidly growing tidal energy industry the most advanced, robust and powerful tidal turbine system available on the market."
Located in the Inner Sound development zone of Scotland's Pentland Firth, the MeyGen array is the largest of its type in Europe.

The 3.5 square km site is being developed in multiple stages, with its first power expected to be generated in late 2015 or early 2016.

The developers recently received a lease agreement from the Crown Estate and began upgrading transmission lines to provide a grid connection point.

Lockheed Martin has been active with a number of marine and hydrokinetic (MHK) projects around the world in recent years. HydroWorld.com reported the company entered a contract with Victorian Wave Partners Ltd. for the development of a 62.5 MW ocean energy station off the coast of Victoria, Australia, in February, while a 1.5 MW collaboration with Ocean Power Technologies Inc. became America's first commercial-scale wave power project to be licensed by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in August 2012.

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