Ellen Thomas

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 solution.”

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.”

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