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DECC approves tidal energy funding bid

The Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) has approved an application from tidal energy developer Marine Current Turbines to secure money from the European Union’s New Entrant Reserve (NER) scheme.

Marine Current Turbines’ application for its proposed tidal farm in Scotland’s Kyle Rhea will now go forward for consideration by the European Investment Bank.

The EU’s NER scheme is a fund worth around €4.5bn (£3.96bn) to support carbon capture and storage and innovative renewable projects, such as the Kyle Rhea tidal scheme, across the European Union.

Marine Current Turbines (MCT) is one of four marine energy companies that have passed the UK Government’s criteria for the NER scheme.

The EIB will now spend nine months performing due diligence on MCT’s application and the other applications submitted to it, checking their financial and technical deliverability.

After this the European Commission will verify the eligibility criteria assessment and re-confirm with the UK Government and the other EU Member States the public funding contribution for recommended projects, before making its award decisions.

Energy minister Charles Hendry said: “I am very encouraged by the strength and breadth of the UK applications for this round of NER funding, with all the projects received by DECC meeting the eligibility criteria.

“They demonstrate that the UK is at the cutting edge of low carbon energy development.”

The Kyle Rhea tidal project will have a maximum power of 8MW and the capacity to generate electricity for up to 8,000 homes.

Subject to public consultation, planning consent and financing, MCT is aiming to deploy the 4 turbine tidal farm by 2014. The estimated cost of the Kyle Rhea project is £40M.

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