The largest tidal energy project in Europe can get under way after
permission was granted for the first stage in the Pentland Firth.
A demonstration project of up to six turbines will be built in the water
between Orkney and the Scottish mainland.
Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said: “Today we have granted consent to MeyGen
Limited to develop the largest tidal turbine array in Europe and the first
commercial project off these shores.
“This is a major step forward for Scotland’s marine renewable energy
industry. When fully operational, the 86 megawatt array could generate
enough electricity to power the equivalent of 42,000 homes – around 40% of
homes in the Highlands. This exciting development in the waters around
Orkney is just the first phase for a site that could eventually yield up to
Speaking before the Scottish Renewables Marine Conference, Mr Ewing said
developers Aquamarine Power and Pelamis Wave Power are to share a slice of
a £13 million wave “first array” support programme, part of the Scottish
Government’s Marine Renewables Commercialisation Fund.
Mr Ewing said: “We must tackle climate change. We need to reduce our
reliance on fossil fuels through better and more efficient uses of energy.
Marine energy – a home-grown technology with huge potential – is part of
The Carbon Trust has estimated wave and tidal resources could provide 20%
of the UK’s electricity.
Lang Banks, director of environmental group WWF Scotland, said: “This is a
significant announcement and a major boost for the marine renewable
industry in Scotland.”