I'm slowly catching up on my backlog after the holiday and at the same time I'd like to keep you posted on all kinds of developments on Islay. One very interesting subject is the Tidal Energy which I mentioned in January. Back then I wrote about the tidal turbines being tested in Orkney and what follows is the outcome of that test which was published in the Ileach Newspaper in June:
A full-scale 1MW tidal power generator was installed at the European Marine Energy Centre in Orkney last December by ANDRITZ HYDRO Hammerfest. This final test device for the ten devices that will be installed in the Sound of Islay was installed during some of the most severe winter weather conditions experienced in recent years. The device has been undergoing a range of tests in fast flowing tidal streams at the test site, and results have been very positive. The device has successfully achieved its full export capacity of 1MW and is providing power to the National Grid. This is a clear demonstration of the feasibility of tidal power generation, with the annual output of the device being equivalent to the electricity used by 500 average homes.
Further testing will continue to prove that the technology can operate efficiently in a range of tidal conditions, and that monitoring and maintenance operations can be adjusted to drive down costs in operations and installation. The Sound of Islay project received planning consent from the Scottish Government in March 2011, and the success of the Orkney tests will help to finalise the timetable for the Sound of Islay project, with installation planned for as early as feasible during the period 2013 to 2015. Continue reading....
Islay Energy Trustâ€™s Tidal Energy Project Officer, Andy Macdonald said: â€œThe excellent test results of the devices in the extreme conditions of Orkney are very encouraging indeed, and keep the Sound of Islay project on track.â€ Keith Anderson, CEO of ScottishPower Renewables said: â€œThe performance of the first HS1000 device has given us great confidence so far. Engineers were able to install the device during atrocious weather conditions, and it has been operating to a very high standard ever since. We have already greatly developed our understanding of tidal power generation, and this gives us confidence ahead of implementing larger-scale projects in Islay and the Pentland Firth. â€œScotland has the best tidal power resources in Europe, and thatâ€™s why we are seeing world leading technologies tested here. This device is already providing renewable electricity for Orkney, but the potential is there in our waters to make a significant contribution towards our overall energy needs and our carbon reduction targets.â€
The Secretary of State for Scotland, Michael Moore MP, met staff and board members from the Islay Energy Trust on Islay and was very interested to hear about the progress of the Sound of Islay Project. He also heard about IETâ€™s ambitions for other community renewable projects. The Secretary of State also had meetings with Islay farmers and the NFU, Bowmore Distillery, Islay Woollen Mill, Dunlossit Estate and Ionad Chaluim Chille ÃŒle. For further information see www.islayenergytrust.org.uk