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SIMEC Atlantis Energy Limited, the developers and owners of MeyGen, has announced it plans to design, consent and build the world’s first ocean-powered data centre near the MeyGen site in Scotland.

The planned data centre will be connected to MeyGen via a private wire. The company stated that the tidal array’s private wire structure with the data centre will provide a route to market for the next phase of the project in lieu of subsidy support for tidal power in the United Kingdom.

“MeyGen holds a 398MW sea-bed lease and our data centre expansion project is world-leading for a number of reasons. The cost of tidal power continues to reduce and this is being assisted by the sustained pressure the offshore wind market places on the supply chain domestically and abroad,” said Tim Cornelius, CEO of Atlantis.

“The world’s most valuable resource is no longer oil but data, and by combining tidal power with stranded onshore wind farms in close proximity to MeyGen, we can create a virtual power plant to provide sustainable power to a data centre in Scotland, creating important new fibre connections for Scotland and the UK in the process.”

MeyGen is actually sited in Pentland Firth, and it is the world’s largest operational tidal stream array. Its 2019 performance represents the longest period of uninterrupted generation from a multi-megawatt tidal turbine array ever achieved with 13.8GWh of predictable renewable electricity been exported in one year. This supply is equivalent to the average annual electricity consumption of around 3,800 typical UK homes.

So far, MeyGen has exported 24.7GWh of predictable renewable electricity to the national grid. Atlantis has also announced that it intends to develop the next phase of MeyGen, which will add 80MW of tidal capacity to the existing project site between the island of Stroma and the mainland.

For its new data centre, the company mentioned that a concept study has been completed with design underway to include a connection to the Celtic Norse subsea fibre optic cable, currently in development.