* Work on 86 MW array to begin in stages
* Aquamarine Power, Pelamis given funding for tidal
LONDON, Sept 16 The Scottish government said on
Monday it has given consent on for work to begin on the largest
tidal energy project in Europe in Pentland Firth, which
separates the Orkney Islands from mainland Scotland.
MeyGen Limited, a joint venture between investment bank
Morgan Stanley, utility International Power and
tidal technology firm Atlantis Resources Corporation, will
install the 86-megawatt (MW) tidal array in stages, starting
with a 9 MW demonstration project.
"When fully operational, the 86 megawatt array could
generate enough electricity to power the equivalent of 42,000
homes - around 40 per cent of homes in the Highlands," said
Fergus Ewing, Scotland's energy minister.
"This exciting development in the waters around Orkney is
just the first phase for a site that could eventually yield up
to 398 MW," he added.
Due to the strength and speed of its tides, the firth was
once called the "Saudi Arabia of tidal power" by Scotland's
First Minster Alex Salmond.
However, research in July showed that the proposed tidal
turbines in Pentland Firth would generate much less power than
The University of Oxford said the maximum that Pentland
Firth could produce would be 1.9 gigawatts, with 1 GW a more
realistic target - far below previous estimates of 10-20 GW.
The Scottish government also said on Monday that tidal power
developers Aquamarine Power Limited and Pelamis Wave Power will
share 13 million pounds ($20.6 million)of funding from the
Scottish government's marine renewables commercialisation fund.
This will enable the firms to develop their technologies so
they can successfully deploy the first wave arrays.