Atlantis, the global developer of renewable and sustainable energy projects, is pleased to provide the following operational update across its thermal, marine and hydro divisions.
Uskmouth Power Station Conversion Project
In August 2020, Atlantis submitted its pre-application consultation report and full planning application to Newport City Council ("NCC") which followed on from its environmental permit variation application submitted to Natural Resources Wales ("NRW") in December 2019 and duly made in March 2020. During November 2020, Atlantis received some additional requests for information from NCC regarding the planning application and the team is in the process of responding to these requests. Atlantis has also received a consolidated list of final information requests from NRW including a new Schedule 5 notice requesting detailed information to allow NRW to consider authorisation of alternative combustion conditions. Atlantis is responding to these requests with the assistance of Mitsubishi Power Europe. Whilst there has been some impact of COVID19 on application review timelines, results of the NCC planning application request and the NRW determination on the necessary variation to the plant's existing environmental permit are expected in H1 2021.
Contract negotiations with shortlisted EPC contractors are progressing well and, subject to agreeing terms, Atlantis intends to update the market on the successful contractor in early 2021.
Negotiations continue regarding the opportunity to enter into a private wire power purchase agreement with local industrial users of energy. The Uskmouth project team is also assessing further opportunities to deliver project revenue, including the evaluation of the fuel for eligibility under the plant's existing Renewables Obligation accreditation and investigation of grid support and ancillary services.
In August 2020, Atlantis and N&P created a joint venture company, NPA Fuels, to produce waste derived fuel pellets for Uskmouth and future UK coal fired power station conversion projects. NPA Fuels is now driving forward planning, permitting and consenting for fuel production plants ("FPPs") in the UK. The Company is currently negotiating land and rail rights at several different locations across the UK, including both greenfield and existing facilities. Atlantis will update the market on FPP location(s) and capacity when appropriate.
The timeline for receipt of planning permission and permits for a greenfield FPP location is expected to take between 4 - 6 months post submission of applications, assuming minimal disruptions. Further, it is currently assumed that FPP planning permission and permits will be required to be in place for project financiers to approve financial close. Therefore, although the FPP project team is still targeting earlier delivery, Atlantis would like to advise the market of a potential extension of financial close into H2 2021 driven by FPP permitting and planning approval timelines. We will update the market as soon as full planning applications have been submitted on FPP greenfield sites and requests for variations have been submitted on FPP brownfield sites.
Tidal Power Division
Atlantis welcomes the recently announced plans for a UK Contract for Difference round 4, opening in late 2021 and including a separate "pot" for fixed offshore wind which has now progressed to being a more established technology. Atlantis will continue to work with UK government and the tidal industry to ensure the optimal framework is in place to stimulate the UK's growing tidal energy sector and replicate the successful growth and price reduction curve of offshore wind.
In Europe, the recently published EU Strategy on Offshore Renewable Energy set ambitious targets for 40GW of ocean energy by 2050, including at least 1GW by 2030. Ocean technologies are recognised as having a significant part to play in Europe's energy system, in particular by supporting grid stability and aiding island decarbonisation. The strategy sets a goal of implementing 100MW of pilot projects by 2025 and Atlantis, through its French joint venture Normandie Hydroliennes, is ideally positioned to play a key role in achieving this goal.
Our flagship MeyGen project has now exported 35GWh to the grid. MeyGen Phase 1 has faced some operational challenges recently and one of the 1.5MW turbines supplied by Andritz Hydro Hammerfest will consequently require retrieval for repair in early 2021 during the same offshore operation to redeploy the AR1500 turbine that was recovered in August 2020 for repair and repower.
Atlantis is on target to deliver and install an AR500 turbine system to Japan's Kyuden Mirai Energy's demonstrator project located in the straits of Naru Island within the southern Japanese Goto island chain. The turbine is currently in transit and is due to be installed in Q1 2021.
Since the addition of the Green Highland Renewables ("GHR") team, Atlantis has been building its hydro asset management and construction management services. The asset management portfolio continues to grow and the construction team is set to commission three hydro projects (5.8MW in total) in the new year. Work will also start on the Blackwater Dam project in January, which will see the GHR team deliver a 740kW project for customer, Equitix. The Blackwater Dam project is a notable milestone as it is GHR's 50th hydro scheme.
Tim Cornelius, CEO of Atlantis, said:
"2020 has presented significant challenges for us all but it has also presented many opportunities of which we have been able to take advantage with the support of our shareholders and stakeholders. As a result, 2021 is looking to be a very positive year of milestone achievements across all of our divisions and I am extremely proud of the Atlantis team for the dedication and hard work they have put in given the challenges the COVID 19 pandemic has presented."