Tidal Energy in Scotland


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The Analysis of Tidal Stream Power

Tidal Energy in Scotland - An Overview

It is estimated that about 25% of Europe's tidal energy resources could reside in Scotland's coastal areas. It is also thought that tidal power could easily contribute a third of Scotland's energy needs. With these facts in mind, Scottish Power Renewables have applied for planning permission for a tidal power installations of 10 large turbines to be sited on the seabed in the South of Islay. The chosen turbine for this project and for a larger 95-turbine project in the Pentland Firth is the HS1000 from Norwegian tidal power developer Hammerfest Strøm. Fife-based Burntisland Fabrication Limited (BiFab) has been awarded the largest single contract for the fabrication of the sub-structure for the first turbine, which will be installed at the European Marine Energy Centre in Orkney in late summer 2011.

Scottish Power Renewables have been a major shareholder in Hammerfest Strøm for the last 5 years, and have confirmed that they will be entering the Ness of Duncansbay project into the Scottish Government’s £10 million Saltire Prize for marine energy innovation.

Another major contender as a commercial tidal turbine is the Atlantis Resources AK1000, which was assembled in Scotlnad and unveiled at Invergordon in August before being shipped to the EMEC test site off Eday, Orkney where it has been installed on the seabed. The device stands 22.5m (73ft) tall on a gravity base and weighs 1,300 tonnes. It has two sets of blades on a single unit to harness ebb and flood tides and could generate one megawatt of power - enough electricity for about 1,000 homes. It is a more robust looking device than the Norwegian design*, but Hammerfest Strom appear to have taken the lead in this late-starting but exciting race.

*In November 2010 the experimental composite blades originally fitted to the AK1000 failed and the nacelle was recovered to the surface. New (GRP) blades are due to be fitted in May 2011

Tidal Energy in Scotland - Information Links

EMEC - European Marine Energy Centre
This Orkney facility is a world leader the development of both wave and tidal energy. It offers developers the opportunity to test full scale grid connected prototype devices in unrivalled wave and tidal conditions.
Marine Energy Road Map
2009 report on past and future progress of the marine energy industry in Scotland. Produced by FREDS, the Forum for Renewable Energy Development in Scotland.
Marine Energy Action Plan
2012 progress report and update to the Marine Energy Road Map highlighting progress made and the next steps requierd.
West Coast tidal resource maps from Natural Power
High resolution tidal energy maps based on a model simulation run covering a typical tidal cycle. Areas include Mull of Galloway, Mull of Kintyre, Kyle Rhea and the Rhinns of Islay.
Development company for the proposed tidal farm in the Inner Sound. It has secured a lease from The Crown Estate for the area that lies between the island of Stroma and the north easterly tip of the Scottish mainland.
Orkney Marine Renewables
The majority of projects announced in the world’s first leasing round for commercial marine energy generation will be developed in Orkney waters. Find out more about Orkney;s global role here.
Sound of Islay Tidal Energy Project - FAQ
A comprehensive list of frequently asked questions about the experimental 10MW tidal energy installation scheduled for installation in the Sound of Islay in 2013, prepared by the Islay Energy Trust.
Wave and tidal power plans unveiled
Scottish Government press release from March 2010 marking the signing of 10 project agreements to generate up to 1.2GW of marine energy off Scotland's north coast following the world's first commercial wave and tidal leasing round.
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