Scottish Power to lead the surge towards tidal power  

Posted by Big Gav in , ,

Bloomberg reports that Scotland is proposing large financial incentives for tidal power generators - Scottish Power to Spend $184 Million on Tidal Power. More at the FT.

Scottish Power Ltd., Iberdrola SA's U.K. unit, plans to invest more than 100 million pounds ($184 million) in tidal power as the utility develops energy production that doesn't add to carbon-dioxide emissions.

Scottish Power is studying two sites in Scotland and another in Northern Ireland for deploying underwater turbines capable of generating a combined 60 megawatts of electricity, enough for more than 40,000 homes, the Glasgow-based company said today in a statement. It will install as many as 20, 1- megawatt turbines at each site, following a year of testing.

Europe's utilities are racing to develop new forms of energy production to harness natural sources of energy, including the wind, waves and solar rays. The technologies are more costly than conventional power production, and are subsidized by governments. They don't emit carbon dioxide, and avoid emission-permit costs.

The planned turbines use the Lanstroem technology that has undergone four years of testing in Norway, developed by Hammerfest Stroem AS, a company owned by Scottish Power, StatoilHydro ASA and Hammerfest Energi. Planning applications may be made in summer next year, and generation may start from 2011.

Just one of the sites, the Pentland Firth, may have potential tidal energy to meet one-third of Scotland's power requirements, the company said. The area includes the stretch of sea between the Orkney Isles and mainland Scotland.

The Crown Estate, which owns rights to the resources of the U.K. continental shelf, said it's seeking expressions of interest for use of the Pentland Firth and plans to allow more than 700 megawatts of power-generation capacity to be built there by 2020. There may also be opportunities for demonstration sites elsewhere, it said in a presentation on its Web site today.

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