Highlands & Islands

Lockheed Martin to make MeyGen Pentland Firth turbine

AR1500 turbine Image copyright Atlantis
Image caption Four turbines will be installed on the seabed in the first phase of the MeyGen project

Defence contractor Lockheed Martin is to manufacture a tidal turbine for a marine renewables scheme in the Inner Sound of the Pentland Firth.

The US company has been working with the developer Atlantis on the design of the 1.5MW AR1500 turbine since 2013.

It will be one of four devices in the first phase of the MeyGen project and is scheduled to arrive in Scotland for installation in 2016.

Atlantis eventually plans to have up to 269 turbines on the seabed.

The Pentland Firth is a stretch of water separating the north Caithness coast and Orkney.

Lockheed Martin will make the turbine's steel housing and assemble all the turbine modules, including the gearbox and generator.

Image copyright Lockheed Martin/PA
Image caption Lockheed Martin manufactures weapons including the new F-35

The company is most known for its work in defence. It manufactures missile systems, including Trident, and aircraft such as the Raptor and new F-35.

The three other turbines in the first phase will be built by another company, Andritz.

Last year, Atlantis signed a multi-million pound deal to sell electricity generated by MeyGen to power company SmartestEnergy.

It also secured a £50m funding package for the project from a range of backers, including the Scottish government, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, the UK government and the Crown Estate.

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