Islay's Tidal Energy Project Approved by Government

BBC reported this morning that "The Islay project now looks set to be the world's first tidal power array and, once built, will triple the current capacity of marine energy projects in the UK." Quite a memorable sentence and something for the people of Islay to be very proud of. The Scottish government has approved plans for 10 tidal turbines, which will generate enough electricity to power more than 5,000 homes. Scottish Power Renewables is behind the scheme. It put forward plans to invest £40m installing the turbines in the waters off Islay, which offer strong tidal flows and shelter from storms. Finance and Sustainable Growth Secretary John Swinney said: "With around a quarter of Europe's potential tidal energy resource and a tenth of the wave capacity, Scotland's seas have unrivalled potential to generate green energy, create new, low carbon jobs, and bring billions of pounds of investment to Scotland. "This development - the largest tidal array in the world - does just that and will be a milestone in the global development of tidal energy." The Scottish government has a target to meet 80% of electricity demand from renewables by 2020. Continue reading...

The Islay Energy Trust was very pleased with the decision of the Scottish Government to go ahead with this prestigious project. Andy Macdonald, the Islay Energy Trust’s Tidal Project Officer said that he was delighted with the news – “To be the first consented tidal array in the world is a great achievement. It is the result of the combined efforts of SPR, the Islay Energy Trust and the local suppliers that contributed to the Environmental Impact Assessment. The project is the world’s first tidal energy array to be given consent and if testing is successful in Orkney this summer 10 x 1MW devices will be installed just south of Port Askaig in the summer of 2013.

The Sound of Islay south of Port Askaig, the location of the turbines

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