Tidal Energy Advances in Scotland

Tidal Energy Advances in Scotland

Atlantis Resources, the developer of the world’s first tidal energy farm has confirmed this week that the first turbine of the MeyGen project in the Pentland Firth has been installed and has begun producing renewable energy. It was also announced that a further three turbines are expected to be installed by the end of the year.

The project which was launched in September of this year and was hailed at the time as significant moment for the renewables industry hopes to achieve the goal of 269 turbines producing a maximum of 398MW which will be enough to power 175,000 homes.

Tim Cornelius, chief executive of Edinburgh-based Atlantis, which has received £23 million in Scottish Government funding for the project said: “This is the moment we have been working towards since we first identified the MeyGen site back in 2007 and I am immensely proud of and grateful for the remarkable team of people who have contributed to this milestone.

“The success of this first phase is a foundation for the tidal industry to build upon to ensure we develop a new energy sector which can deliver clean, predictable and affordable power from the UK’s own abundant resources.”

Speaking of the announcement WWF Scotland director Lang Banks said: “News of the first electricity to come from what will hopefully become one of the world’s largest tidal power schemes is a really exciting moment. Well done to all those involved.

“Coming only a few months after turbines off Shetland generated their first power, it’s a sign that Scotland is really starting to make progress in harnessing the power of our seas.

“Along with action to improve energy efficiency, marine renewables have the potential to play a role in powering our homes and businesses in the future.”

Jenny Hogan, director of policy at Scottish Renewables, said: “The Pentland Firth is one of the most promising tidal energy sites in the world and it’s testament to Atlantis’ determination that it’s now being tapped into.

“Tidal energy has huge global potential and projects like this show Scotland is leading the way in the sector’s development.

“With the latest auction round for power contracts recently announced by the UK Government, it’s crucial that developers like MeyGen see a long-term path to realising this potential.”

Also in Scotland plans were revealed this week to turn the defunct Westfield open cast coal mine into a vast solar farm with panels sited on both land and floating on the water filled former quarry.

It is intended that it will form part of vast new business park development which could also see the re-opening of an old railway line to service the area.

Local councillor Alex Campbell said that the proposals would be extremely beneficial to the local economy should they go ahead.

“If it creates these jobs then it will be fantastic for the site and for the whole area. This is an area of high deprivation and if Hargreaves can turn the site around then it would be a huge boost for the area, creating local jobs and improving the local economy.

“It could be really exciting times. It’s a really positive project.”

Owners Hargreaves Services have submitted a master plan of the site which includes proposals for manufacturing and industrial units, along with business and leisure opportunities. Food production and the recycling industries are two areas being targeted, with the planning application having followed a public consultation by Hargreaves, which purchased the site in 2012.

Hargreaves estimates that around 1,075 construction jobs will be created over a ten-year period, with the completed development capable of supporting an estimated 1,500 full-time equivalent jobs.

As part of its planning application, Hargreaves states: “The proposed development would provide a significant source of renewable energy, be capable of providing energy and heat for a range of commercial developments, create local job opportunities, and provide for significant ongoing environmental enhancement and management of the undeveloped parts of the site, including enhanced public access provision.

“Overall, the proposed development would make a notable contribution to the positive and sustainable growth of Fife.”

Over the coming years we expect that all new business developments will come with their own renewable energy generation installation. Since the energy will be consumed on site there is no need for a subsidy and the long term savings they can offer will be very attractive to businesses looking for new premises. In addition the carbon offset and positive public message they convey will be very appealing to all types and sizes and business.

It is therefore positive to see proposed developments like these in Scotland more and more become the norm.

Finally we would like to congratulate Atlantis Resources for the monumental step they took recently in producing electricity from a commercial tidal energy farm. As the desire for clean renewable energy continues to grow the need for new technologies providing a share also increases.

In Scotland our tidal resources like our wind resources are plentiful so it would be remiss not to utilise this to the best of our advantage. However the process is difficult and dangerous so the steps Atlantis Resources have taken have been remarkable and their achievement is to be applauded.

Here is to them reaching their goal of 269 turbines and for many more tidal energy farms producing plentiful clean energy.

Comments are closed.
WordPress SEO