Scottish tidal array gets approved

DP EnergyA 30 turbine tidal array, to be situated off the south-west coast of Islay, has been granted planning consent by the Scottish Government.

West Islay Tidal Energy Park will have a generating capacity of up to 30MW, enough to power around 18,000 homes. The DP Marine Energy Limited (DP Energy) development will be located approximately 6km off the south-west coast of Islay and will create up to 32 full time jobs.

Scottish Government Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy Paul Wheelhouse said: “Marine renewable technologies offer huge potential to the Scottish economy – and to rural communities throughout the world.

“Scotland has a third of UK’s tidal stream resources and two thirds of its wave resources. We are also home to the world’s leading wave and tidal test centre, the world’s largest planned tidal stream array and the world’s largest tidal turbine.

“The West Islay Tidal Energy Park builds upon this strong foundation. Its 30 turbine array will generate up 30 MW, enough to power almost 18,000 homes, helping us to generate more clean, green electricity in Scotland and to meet our climate change obligations.”

DP Energy and its development partner, Bluepower NV (a Belgium company whose shareholders include the offshore contractor, DEME, and utility, Nuhma) plan to install the turbines over an 8km2 area. The tidal flows around this part of the Scottish Coast approaching 8knots as the water from the Atlantic flows into and out of the northern part of the Irish Sea explained DP Energy. Construction is currently scheduled for 2019.

The proposed site could allow for the future development potential of up to 400MW with expansion to deeper water, and the absence of large concentrations of resident marine life.

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