Scottish Government gives go ahead to world’s largest tidal power project  

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Energy Efficiency News has a post on a tidal power project in Scotland - Scottish Government gives go ahead to world’s largest tidal power project.

The Scottish Government has given the go ahead to what will be the world’s largest tidal stream energy array to date in the Sound of Islay.

The £40 million ScottishPower Renewables development of underwater turbines will have a capacity of 10 MW, generating enough electricity to power around 5000 homes and eight local distilleries and maltings.

“With around a quarter of Europe’s potential tidal energy resource and a tenth of the wave capacity, Scotland’s seas have unrivalled potential to generate green energy, create new, low carbon jobs, and bring billions of pounds of investment,” commented Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth John Swinney in a statement yesterday.

He said that ScottishPower Renewables, which is owned by Spanish power giant Iberdrola Renovables, will work with the Islay Energy Trust to maximise local social and economic benefits.

Local Scottish businesses are also set to benefit, with £4 million in contracts to make the turbines, with a test prototype being manufactured at Burntisland Fabrication’s (BiFab) facility in Arnish.

BiFab has a £2 million contract to build turbines for the ten 1 MW HS1000 devices to be used in the Islay project, which are being developed by Hammerfest Strøm, a joint venture between Scottish Power Renewables and Norwegian energy companies.

A prototype of the HS1000 device has been generating electricity in Norwegian waters for six years and the company is currently constructing the first commercial-scale device for testing in Scottish waters off Orkney later in the year.

Scotland is one of the leaders in tidal development, with world’s first commercial wave and tidal leasing round already underway for the Pentland Firth, which could ultimately produce some 1600 MW of marine energy.

“[The] announcement moves the whole marine renewables industry forward in Scotland and the UK,” says Keith Anderson, chief executive of ScottishPower Renewables. “The understanding we develop from Islay will be essential in delivering the larger planned projects in the Pentland Firth.”

The testing of the HS1000 later this year in Orkney will determine the rollout of the devices in Islay, but ScottishPower Renewables expects to start work on the project next year and start installation between 2013 and 2015.

New Zealand is also looking to develop some large scale tidal power - Kaipara tide turbine plan gets Govt green light.
A $600 million proposal to create New Zealand's first tide-driven power station in the Kaipara Harbour has been approved by Government despite concerns it could kill off fish stocks and threaten critically endangered Maui dolphin.

Conservation Minister Kate Wilkinson this morning signed off the staged installation of 200 tidal turbines near the mouth of the harbour by Crest Energy.

Local fisherman, Te Uri O Hau Settlement Trust and the Department of Conservation had opposed the plan, arguing it could reduce west coast snapper stocks, threaten the environment of the pristine harbour and impact Maui dolphin numbers.

But Ms Wilkinson backed an Environment Court ruling approving the station on the condition it started with only three turbines and conducted two years of environmental monitoring.

If fully implemented, it is estimated the development could generate enough electricity to power the area from Auckland's North Shore to Cape Reinga, she said.

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