West Islay Tidal Energy Project

30MW tidal array planned off the Rhinns of Islay

Site of West Islay tidal project

DP Marine Energy Ltd a renewable energy developer ( and its partners DEME Blue  Energy ( propose to build one of the world’s first commercial scale tidal energy parks in the waters approximately 8km off the tip of the Rhinns of Islay. The project has a Crown Estate agreement for lease for a 30MW tidal array consisting of up to 30 tidal turbines in an area to the west of Portnahaven.

The tidal resource around this part of the Scottish Coast is substantial with flows approaching 8knots as the water from the Atlantic flows into and out of the Northern part of the Irish Sea. Studies have shown that the available tidal resource in this area could be as much as 400MW.

The current proposal has an agreement for a seabed lease from The Crown Estate awarded under its Saltire Prize Leasing Competition and when constructed will have a total installed capacity of 30MW. The turbine design proposed is based on the Siemens MCT configuration similar to that deployed in Strangford Lough with two 1MW turbines mounted on each foundation. However, other alternative designs are also under consideration.

Studies of the seabed and tidal flow have confirmed that the area is an excellent energy resource.  Detailed environmental survey work has been carried out over the last two years and has not highlighted any significant issues.  The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is nearing completion and the aim is to submit an application for consent to the Scottish Government by the end of the year.

This week sees Public Information Days in Bowmore, Portnahaven and Port Ellen on the 25th and 26th of September.  Organisation of these information days is being facilitated by Islay Energy Trust, to ensure that the local consultation is as wide-ranging and as locally relevant as possible. The West Islay Tidal project team will be on hand to answer any questions that you may have.

The details are as follows:

o Bowmore Hall, Tuesday 25th Sept, 2pm to 8pm
o Portnahaven, Rhinns Hall, Wednesday 26th Sept, 10am to 1pm
o Port Ellen, Columba Hall, Wednesday 26th Sept, 4pm to 8pm

Further information on the project can be found at the DP Energy web page (, and will also in the future be available via the project webpage ( and linked via the Islay Energy Trust website (


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