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Renewable Energy

Renewable Energy Wave & Tidal

£18m Starting Fund for Tidal Power

An £18 million fund to help develop Scotland’s first commercial wave and tidal power arrays has been launched today.

Scotland’s Marine Renewables Commercialisation Fund (MRCF) has been established to help boost the roll-out of wave and/or tidal power arrays, to support the marine energy sector to make the next step towards commercial maturity, and help planned developments in the Pentland Firth & Orkney Waters, and other marine locations around Scotland.

The £18m fund forms part of £35 million that the Scottish Government and its enterprise agencies will provide in direct support to the wave and tidal industry over the next three years.

It is open for bids for two months from today, with the announcement of successful projects to due to be announced towards the end of this year.

The First Minister, Alex Salmond said:

“Europe’s greatest wind, wave and tidal resources are heavily concentrated in the waters around these islands and Scotland is at the forefront of developing offshore and low carbon energy generation technologies. The new fund brings together the marine renewables expertise of the Carbon Trust, Scottish Government and our enterprise agencies. It will help move the wave and tidal sector from prototype devices to commercially-viable arrays, producing increasing amounts of electricity solely from the power of the seas and deliver a lasting legacy for future generations.”

The Carbon Trust is working alongside the Scottish Government and enterprise agencies in administering and delivering the Fund.

Dr Stephen Wyatt, Head of Technology Acceleration, the Carbon Trust, added:

“Scotland has a world leading resource and is a hot bed of innovation and deployment making marine energy an exciting green growth sector. We are delighted to be involved in developing and delivering the new Marine Renewables Commercialisation Fund over the next three years. This new fund will be critical to tackle the next set of challenges and innovate to drive down costs of both wave and tidal power.

Tidal turbine test is a success

Initial testing on an underwater turbine, set to be used in Scotland’s first tidal power project has been successfully completed.

The 1MW power generator was installed last December in atrocious weather and has since been undergoing a range of tests in the fast flowing tidal waters around Orkney. The initial testing period has been positive with the device achieving full export power.

ScottishPower Renewables (SPR) plan to use this technology as part of the world’s first tidal turbine array in the Sound of Islay. They plan to develop a 10MW tidal array in Islay having received planning consent in March 2011.

The test device in Orkney aims to fully prove that the technology can operate efficiently in Scotland’s fast flowing tides, that monitoring and maintenance operations can be honed and to help drive down costs in operations and installation.

Keith Anderson, CEO of ScottishPower Renewables said:

“The concept of generating electricity from the natural movement of the tide is still relatively new – and test projects like this are vital to help us understand how we can fully realise the potential of this substantial energy source.

“The performance of the first HS1000 device has given us great confidence so far. Engineers were able 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.

“Scotland has the best tidal power resources in Europe, and that’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.”

The HS1000 tidal turbine has been developed by ANDRITZ HYDRO Hammerfest, whose majority shareholder is Andritz Hydro, and also includes partners Iberdrola and Hammerfest Energi. The 1MW machine can power the annual electricity needs of 500 homes.

The turbine can be monitored from the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) base in Eday, but engineers can also operate and inspect the device from Glasgow using mobile connections and an on-board camera.

Stein Atle Andersen, Managing Director of ANDRITZ HYDRO Hammerfest said:

“The 1MW pre-commercial device is an important step in our staged strategy for developing reliable and cost efficient tidal energy converting devices and power plants. The tests being carried out so far have confirmed the design basis for the technology and given comfort concerning the device’s capacity.”

New £9.5m Marine Energy Test Centre

A new wave and current test facility is being built at Edinburgh University at a cost of £9.5m and will be managed by FloWave TT, a not-for-profit subsidiary of the University of Edinburgh.

A circular 25-metre pool, will be able to simulate combinations of waves of up to 28 metres high and currents up to 12 knots at up to one-tenth scale. The tank has a working area of 15-17 metres and a depth of two metres which will replicate the normal and extreme conditions of coastlines around the UK and Europe.

This is the first time that test conditions like this will be available to device developers

and engineers and will considerably reduce development times and costs and also enable developers to bring their devices to market more quickly and with lower technical risk.

The test tank, due to open next summer, will be available for academic and industry research and is also suited to testing of submersible devices, remotely operated vehicles, offshore wind installation and service vessels and other marine tools.

The facility, funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and the University of Edinburgh.


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