The Crown Estate has awarded ScottishPower Renewables two major marine power development areas in the Pentland Firth as part of the first round of site allocations that aims to fully explore Scotland’s world-leading wave and tidal power resources. The company will develop a 95MW tidal power project at Ness of Duncansby and a 50MW wave power project at Marwick Head.
ScottishPower Renewables will be the sole developer at each site, and will be using industry leading technology for both projects. The tidal site at Ness of Duncansby will consist of up to ninety-five HS1000 tidal turbines, developed by Hammerfest Strøm. A prototype Hammerfest Strøm device has been generating electricity in Norway for the last 5 years, and the company recently announced that a trial of the technology will begin at the EMEC test centre in Orkney during 2011.
The wave power site at Marwick Head will comprise of up to sixty-six Pelamis P2 wave power generators. The Pelamis device is widely recognised as a leader in its field, and has been undergoing trials at a number of locations around the world.
ScottishPower Renewables has already undertaken considerable research at both of the Pentland Firth locations, with positive results from the surveys and consultations already carried out. Further detailed studies will now begin and the installation of devices at both sites is possible from 2015 onwards.
Keith Anderson, Director of ScottishPower Renewables, said: “The announcement today is another significant step forward for Scotland and its ambition to be a world leader in generating renewable electricity. The Pentland Firth has some of the best marine energy resources in the world, and we are delighted to have secured two excellent development sites.
“ScottishPower Renewables is committed to playing a major part in helping Scotland to take a leading role in marine renewables globally. As well as the environmental benefits that will come from developing this major new source of renewable energy, marine power also represents wider economic opportunities in terms of creating a new industry and new skill sets that could be exported all over the world.
“Marine power will be a key part of our business going forward, building on our considerable onshore and offshore wind portfolio, and we have ambitions to investigate and develop further wave and tidal power projects in the coming years.”
Roger Bright CB, Chief Executive of The Crown Estate said: "I am delighted to announce that ScottishPower Renewables has been awarded the Ness of Duncansby site to develop 95MW of tidal energy, and the Marwick Head site to develop 50MW of wave energy in Pentland Firth And Orkney Waters, the world’s first commercial wave and tidal leasing round.
"The 1.2GW of installed capacity proposed by the wave and tidal energy developers for 2020, shows the world that marine energy can produce meaningful amounts of electricity and offers a real alternative to conventional power production. The long term prospects for this growing industry are exceptionally bright, with vast amounts of untapped energy in the seas all around the UK. It will create new businesses and jobs as well as attracting inward investment.”
ScottishPower Renewables has already announced plans to undertake one of the world’s first tidal power demonstration projects in the Sound of Islay, off the west coast of Scotland, as part of its wider development programme. The company is planning to install ten tidal turbines beginning in 2013.