The Shetland Times has an article on a tidal power project on the islands - World first for Yell with community-owned tidal generator poised to go live.
One of the world’s first community-owned tidal power generators could be producing electricity in north Yell by the autumn. The North Yell Development Council hopes to have its machine from Leith-based company Nova Innovation harnessing the tidal race in Bluemull Sound by September or early October.
The local people behind the tide farm and other community ventures in north Yell were praised by Highlands and Islands Enterprise this week for showing “local leadership of an exceptional kind”.
The small 30 kiloWatt generator will go on the seabed in 30 metres of water off the Ness of Cullivoe. Its power will be sold to the electricity grid at Cullivoe but will be consumed by RS Henderson’s modernised ice-making plant at times when ice is being manufactured for fishing boats and salmon harvests.
The pioneering tidal project has been funded by £168,000 in grants from Community Energy Scotland, Shetland Islands Council and HIE Shetland. NYDC will use profits to fund other community ventures and may eventually invest in an array of tidal generators in Bluemull Sound if the first one proves a success. ...
The ferocious currents running at up to six knots through the sound make it a hot spot for potential tidal energy in the same way the particularly vicious Shetland winds make it desirable to wind farm developers. Unlike onshore windfarms there is no established system under which tidal or wave power developers reward the communities that allow their environment and renewable energy to be exploited.
The beauty of the Cullivoe project is that the local people are the developer and will reap the full financial benefits from the natural resources on their doorstep rather than seeing them siphoned off by some acquisitive and distant multi-national. The Crown Estate will still extract a tax for use of its seabed, however.
Photo credit: Neil Roger - Fair Isle.