London, UK — Following the deadline of May 28, 2010 for expressions of interest and pre-qualification for a tidal energy project at the Inner Sound, The Crown Estate announced that it has invited four companies to tender.
The re-tendering process will now proceed to the second phase, which involves companies submitting detailed tenders. Should a successful bidder emerge from the process, an agreement for lease could be reached by autumn. The Crown Estate did not release the names of the companies invited to tender for projects.
The Inner Sound lies within the Pentland Firth and Orkney waters strategic area, between Caithness on the Scottish mainland and the island of Stroma. As one of the most energetic tidal areas in the Pentland Firth, it has potential for a significant commercial project of 200 megawatts (MW) or more installed capacity.
“We are pleased to see continuing interest in tidal energy development in the Inner Sound. On top of the potential 1,200 MW of wave and tidal energy projects in the Pentland Firth and Orkney waters announced earlier this year, a project at the Inner Sound could further advance the industry,” said Rob Hastings, director of the marine estate at The Crown Estate.
As owners of the UK seabed out to the 12-nautical mile territorial limit and around half of the foreshore, The Crown Estate is continuing to work closely with its partners, the Scottish Government, Highlands & Islands Enterprise, Orkney Islands Council and the Highland Council, to maximise benefits to the local area and the rest of Scotland from investments in offshore renewables.