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World's largest tidal power project approved

The world’s largest tidal stream energy array will be built in the Sound of Islay following approval by the Scottish Government.

ScottishPower Renewables £40M tidal array development will harness the power of the Sound of Islay and generate enough electricity for over 5,000 homes - more than double the number of homes on Islay.

The 10 MW facility will further develop emerging tidal energy technology, provide economic and community benefits to Islay and Jura and cement Scotland’s position as a global leader in marine energy.

Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth John Swinney determined the application as it is in Energy Minister Jim Mather’s Argyll & Bute constituency.

“With around a quarter of Europe’s potential tidal energy resource and a tenth of the wave capacity, Scotland’s seas have unrivalled potential to generate green energy, create new, low carbon jobs, and bring billions of pounds of investment to Scotland,” said Swinney.

“This development - the largest tidal array in the world - does just that and will be a milestone in the global development of tidal energy.”

The Scottish Government’s target is to meet 80 percent of electricity demand from renewables by 2020. In 2009, 27 percent of electricity demand came from renewables. There is around 7 GW of renewables capacity installed, under construction or consented around Scotland, which will take Scotland beyond the interim target of 31 percent of Scotland’s electricity demand from renewables by 2011.

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