Construction on one of the world’s largest tidal power projects will begin
in the Pentland Firth later this year, Energy Minister Fergus Ewing has
announced.

Once completed, the 269-turbine development could power almost 175,000
homes and support more than 100 jobs in the north of Scotland.

The £20.5 million investment was made possible by the Scottish Government’s
Renewable Energy Investment Fund (REIF) and funding from Highlands and
Islands Enterprise (HIE).

It is part of a total package of £51 million to MeyGen for the four turbine
demonstration phase of its tidal stream array project.

The UK Government has provided £10 million worth of grant funding to the
MeyGen project through its Marine Energy Array Demonstrator (MEAD) scheme,
set up in 2012 to support marine power projects.

Other funders include the Crown Estate and the company Atlantis Resources,
the Department of Energy & Climate Change said.

Mr Ewing said: “The funding announced today will help bring to life
innovative and exciting plans to develop the world’s largest tidal power
project in Scotland.

“Our ambition for Scotland’s emerging wave and tidal sectors remains great.
The Pentland Firth development takes our ambition to the next level and
further cements Scotland’s reputation as a world leader in deploying
renewables technology.

“We know that the successful harnessing of ocean power takes hard work and
persistence which is why we are determined to support those in the industry.

“By developing clean, green energy we are creating opportunities for
communities in the north of Scotland and delivering jobs and investment.”

Lena Wilson, chief executive of Scottish Enterprise said: “We’re already
leading the world in terms of research and development facilities for the
tidal sector, and have more tidal devices being tested in our waters than
anywhere else in the world. The plans for the Pentland Firth are further
evidence of Scotland’s position as one of the key players in the fast
growing renewables sector at a global level.”

Calum Davidson, HIE’s director of energy and low carbon, said: “The MeyGen
project is the first commercial scale tidalstream array to be developed and
built out.

“HIE is delighted by today’s announcement as it gives a strong green light
to the start of the construction phase of the project. It is a huge boost
to the Highlands and Islands which is being rightly recognised as a global
centre for marine renewables. We have world class wave and tidal conditions
here, as well as expertise across the engineering and marine supply chain
supported by a skilled and dedicated workforce. HIE is looking forward to
working with MeyGen as the project develops in the coming months.”

UK Energy Secretary Ed Davey said: “This innovative and exciting project
puts Scotland and the UK on the map as a global leader in marine technology
– meaning jobs, better energy security and the potential to export this
technology to the world.

“The project also shows what can be done when the UK and Scottish
Governments work together to provide a lasting benefit for the people of
Scotland.

“MeyGen will be the biggest tidal stream array in the world, providing
enough electricity for 175,000 homes and 100 ‘green jobs’ when completed.

“Wave and tidal power have the potential to provide more than 20% of the
UK’s electricity needs, and MeyGen could pave the way for future projects
in the Pentland Firth.”


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