Scotland’s First Tidal Energy Project Proposed

Proposals for the development of Scotland’s first commercial-sized tidal energy project have been approved by the community-owned Islay Energy Trust (IET). The proposed project is likely to consist of 4-6 turbine devices with a total capacity around 2 megawatts (MW) that will be installed in the Sound of Islay, an island in the Orkneys off the coast of Scotland.

The development phases are expected to cost up to £750,000 (US $1.5 million) and take around three years to complete. Islay is already home to the world’s first commercial wave power station — Wavegen’s Limpet at Portnahaven. No decision has yet been taken on the type of technology to be installed for this project.

“Instead of the more conventional route involving a large energy utility company or turbine manufacturer, the Islay community is taking the initiative in leading the development of what is intended to be a commercially viable and strategically important project. IET wishes to ensure that any exploitation of the considerable tidal energy resources in the seas around the Isle of Islay yields substantial and sustainable benefits to the Islay community, as well as helping to provide greater energy security for the island by supplying around a quarter of its electricity demand,” said IET Chairman, Philip Maxwell.

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