Part of the offshore
tidal stream energy
system at Strangford
Lough in Northern
Ireland
 
Bristol, England — ESI-AFRICA.COM — 08 December 2010 – British marine hydro firm Marine Current Turbines (MCT) is targeting 2013 to install Scotland’s first tidal energy farm.

Making this announcement here, MCT “’ which designed and deployed the world’s first commercial scale offshore tidal stream energy system at Strangford Lough in Northern Ireland “’ revealed that it was investigating the feasibility of a tidal farm in Kyle Rhea, a strait of water between the Isle of Skye and the Scottish mainland.

It said the project would have the capacity to generate electricity for up to 4 000 homes in the Highlands & Islands, by harnessing the power of the fast tidal currents that pass through Kyle Rhea 14 hours a day. It would also give a multi-million pound boost to the Highlands & Islands economy, as local businesses could expect to participate in the tidal farm’s installation, operation and maintenance, the company said in a press release.

It pointed out that the development of the project was subject to securing a lease agreement from The Crown Estate, securing planning approval from Marine Scotland (part of the Scottish Government) and raising the required finance.

MCT estimates that the cost of the 5-MW Kyle Rhea scheme, consisting of four SeaGen tidal units, will be GBP35 million (R380 million).

For the past nine months, MCT has undertaken a series of environmental and technical studies and consulted a range of local and national organisations. The work to date has confirmed the suitability of the site. Subject to further studies being carried out and further consultations, MCT aims to submit a planning application toward the end of 2011.