The Tide Is High
Advancing the next generation of tidal energy
American punk band Blondie, hip-hop artist Rihanna and others have sung “The tide is high, but I’m holding on. I’m going to be your number one.” And while a new contract highlights Lockheed Martin’s continued role as number one in ocean energy, highly energetic tides are exactly what Lockheed Martin and global tidal energy leader Atlantis Resources Ltd. want.
Commencing a contract to optimize the design of Atlantis’ new 1.5-megawatt tidal turbine, the AR1500, Lockheed Martin is further advancing the next generation of tidal energy. Tidal turbines work like an underwater wind turbine. The tides’ ebb and flow force the blades to spin, which rotate the turbine and activate a generator that produces electricity. The newest turbine will have active rotor pitch, where the blades can tilt and angle to the direction of the tides, and full nacelle yaw rotation – the ability to turn during any schedule of the tidal stream.
“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.”
Last year, Lockheed Martin and Atlantis entered into an exclusive teaming partnership to develop technology, components and projects in the tidal power sector on a global basis. The AR1500 will initially support the MeyGen project in Scotland’s Pentland Firth and deployment in Canada’s Bay of Fundy. Once completed, the MeyGen project – the world’s largest tidal stream project under development – is expected to deliver up to 398 megawatts of power, enough energy to power 200,000 homes or up to half of Scotland.
“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,” said Tim Cornelius, chief executive officer of Atlantis Resources Ltd. “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.”
Aside from this contract, within the past six months, Lockheed Martin has signed a contract to construct the world’s largest Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) power plant, as well as a contract to begin developing the world’s largest wave energy project.
March 18, 2014
- The new AR1500 will be used to support the MeyGen project – the world’s largest tidal stream project under development – in Scotland’s Pentland Firth. Lockheed Martin is also constructing the world’s largest Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion power plant in China, and has begun development of the world’s largest wave energy project, to be built off the coast of Victoria, Australia.
- Commencing a contract to optimize the design of Atlantis’ new 1.5-megawatt tidal turbine, the AR1500, Lockheed Martin is further advancing the next generation of tidal energy.
- Tidal turbines work like an underwater wind turbine. The tides’ ebb and flow force the blades to spin, which rotate the turbine and activate a generator that produces electricity.
The AR1000 turbine nacelle, being prepared for transit to the deployment location at the European Marine Energy Centre in Scotland. Photo courtesy Atlantis Resources Ltd.