ScottishPower Renewables’ pioneering tidal energy project has been shortlisted in the Scottish Government’s £10m Saltire Prize Challenge on the same day as the UK Government agreed funding for wider research and development into the project.
ScottishPower Renewables’ is competing for the £10m Saltire Prize with its 95MW tidal project off the north coast of Caithness at Duncansby, in the Pentland Firth. The project is currently in the early stages of development and will utilise the Company’s HS1000 1MW tidal turbine.
Seen as one of the world’s most advanced tidal turbine designs, the HS1000 device is currently undergoing sea-trials at the European Marine Energy Centre in Orkney and a smaller 300kW device has been installed in Norway for over 6 years.
The Company is also developing a 10MW tidal demonstration project in the Sound of Islay, potentially the first of its kind in the world, with construction due to commence in 2013.
Keith Anderson CEO ScottishPower Renewables, said: “Scotland is leading the world at the moment in marine energy developments, and the Saltire Prize Challenge is encouraging innovation in wave and tidal energy. We believe that power from wave and tidal schemes will be a major contributor to Scotland’s electricity needs in the coming years, and the demonstration projects being developed now will be crucial in helping us achieve larger commercial projects.”
The £10m Saltire Prize announced this week by Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, will be won by the team that achieves the largest electrical output over 100GWh in Scottish waters over a continuous two-year period, using only the power of the sea.
The UK Government has also added its support for the development of ScottishPower Renewables’ tidal energy projects as part of wider major collaborative research and development project that will help to show how wave and tidal energy can be generated at scale with lower energy production costs.
The UK’s innovation agency, the Technology Strategy Board and Scottish Enterprise – in collaboration with the Scottish Government and Highlands and Islands Enterprise – are to invest over £6.5 million in seven new projects that will support the applied research, experimental development and demonstration of innovative technologies that solve common issues faced by those developing and deploying the first marine energy arrays, a critical step in the development of the industry.
In one of the projects, ScottishPower Renewables will partner with SSE Renewables and four leading tidal turbine developers to develop electrical connection architectures for large-scale tidal power arrays.
Keith Anderson added: “We welcome the Government’s support for marine energy infrastructure development. This announcement comes at a critical time to enable developers to work in tandem to overcome the technical challenges in delivering some of the world’s first commercial scale marine energy projects.
“Scotland is widely regarded as having the best tidal power resources anywhere in the world and this investment is a further step to proving the viability of our marine energy ambitions.”
ScottishPower Renewables is part of Iberdrola, the largest wind power company in the world. Its global offshore wind power headquarters are based in Glasgow and it currently has a pipeline of around 10,000MW in offshore wind projects across Europe, primarily in the UK. ScottishPower Renewables is the first developer in the UK to achieve one gigawatt (GW) of electricity production capacity from wind power. Iberdrola has an installed capacity of more than 12,000 MW at the end of 2010, and a pipeline of over 60,000 MW.
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