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Scottish Government eyes new tidal power schemes

Tocardo tidal  turbines 2by3

A £10M fund has been set up by the Scottish Government the finance the commercial development of new tidal schemes along the Scottish coast.  

The Saltire Tidal Energy Challenge fund sits alongside the £30M committed to date by the Scottish Government to Wave Energy Scotland (WES) for the developing tidal power innovations.  

WES is a government programme established in 2014 to support innovation and avoid duplication in addressing the technical challenges of reliability, survivability, performance and affordability for the tidal sector.  

Scottish energy minister Paul Wheelhouse said Scotland is a world leader in tidal energy development.  

“Scotland continues to lead the world in developing and supporting marine energy technology, with the European Marine Energy Centre on Orkney recognised as a global centre of excellence,” he said. “We believe that tidal energy can not only play an important role in our own future energy system, but it has substantial export potential.”  

Scotland already hosts the majority of the UK’s tidal-energy schemes, with two of three operational plants in the UK located in Scottish waters. The two are the 6MW MeyGen tidal plant in the Orkney Islands, and a 2MW Scottish Renewables plant also in the Orkney Islands. 

Permission has also been given for MeyGen phase 2, which will create another 60MW of generating capacity. 

The final operational plant, the 1.2MW SeaGen tidal farm is near the Strangford Narrows, Northern Ireland.

The announcement follows recent news that the mothballed Swansea tidal barrage scheme in Wales could be revived with private funding.  

Full details of the application process and assessment criteria will be made available via the Scottish Government Marine Energy website. The applications deadline is 6 December 2019. 

Saltire Tidal Energy Challenge fund guidelines: 

  • Relate to the capital costs of developing a material/technical innovation aimed at reducing the cost of tidal energy 
  • Demonstrate the requirement for, and added value of, Scottish Government support 
  • Be deployed in Scottish waters no later than March 2020 
  • Demonstrate potential to have a positive social and economic impact on Scotland including collaboration across the Scottish supply chain 

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