Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Wave and tidal energy deals announced

Up to 750,000 homes could be powered by the projects based in the Pentland Firth and Orkney waters.
16 March 2010 11:17 GMT
Up to 750,000 homes in Scotland could be powered by 10 major marine renewable energy projects announced on Tuesday.
The wave and tidal developments planned for the Pentland Firth and Orkney waters have the potential to generate 1.2 gigawatts (GW) of energy. Scotland’s peak electricity demand is 6GW.
Several power firms have signed agreements for lease with the Crown Estate, which owns the UK seabed up to 12 nautical miles out, to take forward the developments.
Six sites have been allocated for wave energy developments potentially generating 600 megawatts (MW) of power and four sites for tidal projects, also generating 600 MW.
First Minister Alex Salmond said: "Today marks a major milestone in the global journey towards a low carbon future, with the commercial-scale deployment of marine renewables set to power our economies and help safeguard the planet for generations to come.
"These waters have been described as the Saudi Arabia of marine power and the wave and tidal projects unveiled today - exceeding the initial 700MW target capacity - underline the rich natural resources of the waters off Scotland."
The full 1.2GW of capacity is expected to be installed by 2020, with the projects attracting between £3billion and £4billion of capital investment.
Scottish Secretary Jim Murphy said: "Scotland is naturally placed to make the most of this green revolution and we will continue to work with others to ensure the potential of Scottish waters, alongside wind power, is fully met.
"It is encouraging to see the number of successful bidders for the Pentland Firth and Orkney waters. There is no doubt we are set to see a significant expansion in the commercial development of wave and tidal energy in the near future."
Marine Energy Deals: The Winners
It follows on from two offshore wind leasing rounds in Scottish waters, announced over the past 13 months, with a combined target capacity of 11.2 GW.
Tuesday’s deals are the world’s first commercial wave and tidal power leasing deals.
There are currently about 7GW of renewable capacity installed, under construction or consented around Scotland, according to the Government.
Roger Bright, chief executive of the Crown Estate, said the developments demonstrate the UK's position as the leader in wave and tidal technologies.
He said: "This emerging industry has a bright and promising future, with vast amounts of untapped energy in the seas all around us, and the Crown Estate looks forward to working with partners in Wick and Kirkwall to realise the area's marine energy potential."
The developers today who have signed deals for wave energy projects are SSE Renewables Developments Ltd, for 200MW at the Costa Head site, and Aquamarine Power Ltd and SSE Renewables Developments Ltd for 200MW for the Brough Head site.
Smaller deals have done by E.ON - 50MW for both the West Orkney South site and Orkney Middle South site, as well as Scottish Power Renewables UK Ltd - 50MW for the Marwick Head site, and Pelamis Wave Power Ltd - 50MW for the Armadale site.
The tidal energy agreements are with SSE Renewables Developments (UK) Ltd - 200MW for the Westray South site, as well as SSE Renewables Holdings (UK) Ltd and OpenHydro Site Development Ltd - 200MW for the Cantick Head site.
Marine Current Turbines Ltd have signed a 100MW tidal project for the Brough Ness site and Scottish Power Renewables UK Ltd will develop a 100MW project at the Ness of Duncansby site.

Last updated: 16 March 2010, 18:57 GMT