A power station which could be the “world’s first” such offshore installation has been earmarked for the straits between the Isle of Skye and the Scottish mainland.
The station, which will produce enough electricity to power around 900 homes, is being sited in the straits at Kyle Rhea due to the strong tide and sheltered location.
Sheffield-based company Pulse Tidal aims to have the station producing the first 1.2MW of renewable electricity in 2012 and has begun a year-long environmental study ahead of applying to Marine Scotland for a licence.
If the licence is granted the power could be raised to 9.6MW by stringing eight devices together.
The company must apply for planning permission from the Highland Council to build its first commercial generator at the site: Pulse successfully tested a trial device in the Humber estuary in Yorkshire and the company received an eight million euro (£6.8M) EU grant to develop its first commercial generator.