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Seabed issues 'impacted' MeyGen

Report for BEIS highlights difficulties with siting gravity foundations

Seabed issues 'impacted' MeyGen  image

The developers of the 6MW MeyGen Phase 1A tidal energy array in the Pentland Firth should have given greater weighting to seabed conditions when choosing gravity-based foundations over monopiles, according to a new report.

In the report for the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy, which assesses lessons learned from Phase 1A, the project developers said it was “extremely difficult” to find level locations suitable for the three feet of the gravity foundations.

Carrying out a more detailed study of seabed conditions earlier in the engineering process would have been “valuable” in determining foundations, the report added.

Phase 1A would also have benefited from a more flexible foundation design, having “prioritised the standardisation of the foundation design over flexibility”, the report said.

MeyGen will use monopile foundations for the 6MW Phase 1B project, which is scheduled for installation by 2018.

Phase 1A consists of four 1.5MW turbines – one Atlantis AR1500 unit designed by Lockheed Martin for developer Atlantis Resources and three Andritz Hammerfest Hydro machines.

Image: foundation installation at MeyGen Phase 1A (Atlantis Resources)

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