Twenty-two metre high installation to be erected in 35m deep water

A 1,300-tonne submarine turbine, the AK-1000, capable of powering 1,000 houses, has set sail from the East Coast of Scotland destined for the seabed off Orkney.

Described as the largest tidal turbine of its type ever built, the 18m blades will rotate just eight times per minute. But the mechanism is designed to withstand the huge pressure of the Pentland firth’s tidal flow and convert it into electricity.

Atlantis Resources unveiled its AK-1000 at Invergordon ahead of it being shipped to a European Marine Energy Centre test site off Eday, Orkney.

It has two sets of blades on a single unit to harness ebb and flood tides and their slow speed removes any threat to wildlife.

The Crown Estate has selected Atlantis as one of seven developers to exploit the firth’s renewable tidal power. The company plans to use the energy to power a computer data centre in the far north.