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SIMEC Atlantis Energy tidal power generation facility in Japan has passed the pre-use inspections test


SAE is pleased to announce that its tidal power generation facility in Naru Island, Japan, has passed the Japanese government’s pre-use inspection tests. The site, which features the AR500 tidal turbine, is now recognised as an official power generation facility. The tests were undertaken by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), which is a key stakeholder in consenting renewable energy projects in Japan.

The SAE team in the UK and Japan have been working closely with its client Kyuden Mirai Energy (KME) to demonstrate to METI that the power generation facility adheres the national regulatory standards. Some of the tests involved in the process included:

  • Meeting the turbine’s stated performance characteristics during peak tidal flow conditions
  • Demonstration of the ability to shut down the system safely during the highest annual flow rates
  • Temporary resilience to an auxiliary power loss from shore event and safe shutdown in the instance of an extended outage
  • Full testing of the turbine’s rapid shutdown capability in response to an emergency stop trigger from shore
  • The turbine tests, which were successfully passed during one of the strongest tides expected this year, follow an exhaustive process of inspection and verification of both the onshore facility and offshore equipment against national electrical standards.

The Scottish built AR500 tidal turbine has been generating electricity since it was installed in January 2021, and has generated more than 90MWh of power, at a high turbine availability. This pilot is the first large scale project of its kind in Japanese waters and has shown how the tidal industry can make a meaningful contribution in Japan’s ambition to diversifying its energy supply towards renewable sources. Whilst the turbine’s power output is purposefully limited to meet consenting restrictions for this phase of the project, Japan’s deep and fast moving tidal currents lend themselves to arrays of MW class commercial turbines.


Graham Reid, CEO at SIMEC Atlantis Energy (SAE): “I am extremely proud of the entire team who worked tremendously hard to get the project to where it is today. We are all delighted to have achieved this accreditation from METI as this confirms the capability and reliability of our technology and is a huge step forward in paving the way to the next phase of this exciting project and other future projects in Japan.”