For the past decade, Atlantis Resources Corporation has been actively involved in the commercialisation of tidal power technology around the world. The Atlantis story has its genesis in Australia where the early years of the company were spent developing free stream tidal turbine prototype designs and concepts. Scaled testing commenced in 2002 and by September 2006, after multiple iterations and some of the largest ocean based tow-testing programs ever conducted, Atlantis assembled and installed a 100kW Aquanator™ device and became one of the first companies in the world to successfully connect a tidal current turbine to a national grid at our dedicated test facility in San Remo, Victoria, Australia. The Aquanator™ system at San Remo provided valuable real world testing capability for our R&D, installation and commissioning teams.
In 2006, Atlantis established operations in Singapore, attracted by low cost & high quality R&D capabilities and the integrity of the intellectual property protection laws protected by the robust and active Singaporean legal system.
As the kilowatts began flowing into the grid at San Remo, Atlantis accelerated its R&D efforts. This led to the development of the Nereus™ I tidal power system. Instead of building scaled models or relying solely on CFD analysis and computational simulations, Atlantis took the unprecedented step of tow testing the 100kW 30 tonne Nereus™ in the open ocean. The first Nereus™ tow test took place in Victoria, Australia in December 2007 and the results of this testing regime were independently verified by Black & Veatch.
Atlantis then became the first company in the world to decommission a tidal current test site in May 2008. The Aquanator™ turbine was removed and the site was decommissioned. This was followed shortly with the installation, grid connection and commission of a 150kW Nereus™ I, now known as AN-150™ tidal current turbine in May 2008 at San Remo, Victoria, Australia.
Unsatisfied with these achievements, Atlantis brought its rotor design and power train development teams in–house in a quest to achieve enhanced turbine efficiency. In July 2008, the Nereus™ II or AN-400™ tidal current turbine was tow tested in an open ocean environment and we smashed our previous power output records and demonstrated a huge increase in water-to-wire efficiency.
In mid 2007, Atlantis welcomed Morgan Stanley, the US investment bank, as a shareholder and the two companies embarked on a mission to develop commercially viable, technically feasible and bankable marine power projects. In 2008, Atlantis acquired Morgan Stanley’s UK-based marine power project origination & project management business, Current Resources Ltd (CRL; recently renamed to Atlantis Resources (UK) Ltd). Atlantis Resources (UK) gave Atlantis the ability to originate green-field projects and offer them to potential customers thereby creating a market for our world leading turbines. Atlantis Resources (UK) provided Atlantis with the financial rigor and discipline required to structure and develop marine power projects that deliver attractive IRR’s to our customers to ensure that Atlantis projects are bankable. The Atlantis Resources (UK) acquisition also allowed Atlantis to offer the only vertically integrated marine power solution in the market, offering turn key projects taken from concept to field commissioning.
In 2008, Atlantis unveiled its Solon™ (AS) series turbines to the market. The AS-500™ was tested in Singaporean waters and was independently verified as the world’s largest horizontal axis turbine ever tow-tested and also the world’s most efficient tidal current turbine with a Cp(mech) in excess of 42%. Atlantis expanded its blade materials and design capabilities throughout 2008 and this yielded commercial results in early 2009 when we successfully tested the most efficient bi-directional tidal turbine blades during trials in Australia.
In 2008, Atlantis opened its project office in London to focus on growing our origination and project management business arms in UK and European waters. In 2009, Atlantis grew out of its project office and opened an additional London HQ close by.
During 2009 the State owned Norwegian utility, Statkraft, Europe’s largest generator of renewable energy, became an equity investor and customer of Atlantis. Like the management group at Atlantis, Statkraft share a passion and long term commitment to the commercialisation of new classes of renewable generation. In Q2 2011, Atlantis welcomed EDBI of Singapore as a strategic investor.
In 2010, MeyGen Limited was awarded the rights to develop the ‘Crown Jewel’ of the Pentland Firth – the Inner Sound. The MeyGen tidal power project site has a potential installed capacity of 398 MW, making it the largest marine power project in the world. In late 2010, Atlantis sold down control of the MeyGen project vehicle to International Power GDF Suez and Morgan Stanley. Atlantis has retained an exclusive turbine supply agreement with MeyGen for the Pentland Firth project.