The world’s largest tidal energy project just took a big step forward as Atlantis Resources announced it has finalized an $83 million funding package for the project to break ground. When it is finished, the 398 MW MeyGen array of underwater turbines will provide clean, sustainable, predictable power for 175,000 homes in Scotland while reducing carbon emissions.

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MeyGen’s parent company Atlantis Resources has managed to raise approximately £50 million which will be used to finance the initial stage of the wider MeyGen project, including the installation of four 1.5 megawatt turbines as well as the onshore infrastructure needed to support the project. When completed, the project will include up to 269 turbines submerged on the seabed, but the project’s first phase will install 61 turbines that will provide enough electricity for 42,000 homes. Construction is expected to begin later this year, with the first electricity anticipated to be delivered to the grid by 2016.

Related: Scotland to Build World’s First Community-Owned Tidal Turbine

Atlantis CEO and MeyGen director Tim Cornelius, said: “Today, we are witnessing the transformation of a sector. MeyGen is one of the most exciting and innovative renewable energy developments in the world, marking the long-awaited arrival of tidal stream generation as a serious, large-scale player in global energy markets. I am proud that Atlantis will become the first company to successfully develop a project of this kind, at this size, making Atlantis the first independent power producer from a tidal array.”

The MeyGen project is the first large-scale tidal project in the world to successfully reach a funding agreement, and it could serve as a catalyst for the global tidal power market by signaling the transition of the industry from demonstration projects to commercial arrays.

Related: Scotland Approves Europe’s Largest Tidal Energy Project

UK Energy Secretary Ed Davey says: “This innovative and exciting project puts Scotland and the UK on the map as a global leader in marine technology – meaning jobs, better energy security and the potential to export this technology to the world.”

“The project also shows what can be done when the UK and Scottish governments work together to provide a lasting benefit for the people of Scotland. Wave and tidal power have the potential to provide more than 20% of the UK’s electricity needs, and Meygen could pave the way for future projects in the Pentland Firth.”

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Via CleanTechnia

Images via Atlantis Resources and EXVIZ