30-turbine tidal-energy park plans approved

Posted on 17 Jul 2017 and read 1329 times
30-turbine tidal-energy park plans approvedThe Scottish government has approved plans for a 30-turbine tidal-energy park off the south-west coast of Islay. The project, which is headed by Cork-based DP Marine Energy Ltd (www.dpenergy.com), will create 32 full-time jobs and have a generating capacity of up to 30MW — enough to power around 18,000 homes.

DP Marine Energy and its Belgium-based development partner Bluepower NV secured a lease agreement with the Crown Estate for the development in 2011, following initiation of the planning process in 2009.

West Islay Tidal Energy Park will be one of the world’s first commercial-scale tidal energy parks. The site for the project is about three square miles in an area of the Atlantic where tidal flows are nearly eight knots.

Furthermore, DP Marine Energy says the proposed site has further development potential of up to 400MW, if it is expanded into deeper water. As yet, no date has been set for the development work to begin.

Scotland’s energy minister, Paul Wheelhouse, said: “Marine renewable-energy technologies offer huge potential to the Scottish economy, and to rural communities throughout the world.

“Scotland has a third of the UK’s tidal-stream resources and two thirds of its wave resources; it is also home to the world’s leading wave and tidal test centre, the world’s largest planned tidal-stream array and the world’s largest tidal turbine. The West Islay Tidal Energy Park builds upon this strong foundation.”

Gina Hanrahan, acting head of policy at WWF Scotland, said: “Scotland’s growing tidal industry is hitting new milestones. With a third of Europe’s tidal potential, Scotland’s powerful seas have a significant contribution to make in the fight against climate change.

“The renewable-energy transition is happening globally at a pace many thought impossible only a few years ago. If Scotland is to continue to reap the benefits of innovation, slashing emissions, powering communities and creating local jobs, the Scottish government’s final Energy Strategy must ensure that there are policies in place to replicate the progress we’ve made on renewable electricity in the heat and transport sectors.”

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