Hebridies May Get World’s Largest Energy Farm

The world’s largest installation of wind and wave power may be built on the island of Lewis in the Hebridies.

LONDON, England, UK, 2001-12-13 [SolarAccess.com] Media reports in England say a consortium led by British Energy and AMEC of the United States have been developing a two stage plan to build a 600 MW facility. The first stage would include 250 turbines, followed by the installation of both wave and tidal energy. The cost of the project would be £500 million, and the facility would be linked to the national power grid by a 350 mile undersea cable that the British government is considering to bring off-shore renewable energy sources onto the national grid. Local politician Calum MacDonald says initial production from the facility would be used to help finance the cable, while the second stage would develop offshore wind and tidal power. He says the Hebrides would be an ideal site for future energy in the form of hydrogen power. The west coast of Britain boasts one of the best wind resources in Europe, but its potential for generation has always been hampered by a lack of connections to the grid. Connections would enable the output to be moved to areas of high demand in the south and east of the country. If planning permission is granted for the Hebridian energy farm, Britain would double its renewable energy capacity and environmentalists claim that more nuclear reactors would not need to be built. Although Britain is Europe’s windiest country, it has only 880 operating wind turbines based at 61 windfarms, with the largest in Blyth, Northumberland, generating less than 50 MW.
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