The MeyGen tidal power development in Pentland Firth, Scotland, is to receive almost £10 million investment from the Crown Estate. The investment is part of £50 million funding for the first phase of the 398 megawatt (MW) project.
The location of the project is described as one of the “most challenging and promising stretches of UK waters” that has the potential to play a crucial role in the development and commercialisation of tidal power. The Crown Estate hopes that its involvement will act as a catalyst to further investment in the area.
The first phase of the MeyGen project has also been funded by Atlantis Resources, the Department of Energy and Climate Change, Scottish Enterprise via the Renewable Energy investment Fund and Highlands and Islands Enterprise.
Rob Hastings, director of energy and infrastructure at the Crown Estate, said, “We have been a major player in the development of the offshore renewable energy industry for over ten years.
“Our commitment to this investment is part of our strategy to explore the potential of tidal stream energy on a commercial scale with a project that offers a crucial stepping stone on the path towards unlocking the nation’s tidal energy potential over the long term.”
The UK wave and tidal industry received a major boost in July when the Crown Estate announced five new development zones, which can be sub-let. By providing seabed rights, which will act as managed demonstration zones, to locally-based commercial organisations it is thought the UK will be able to unlock its potential of wave and tidal energy and become a world leader in the energy source.
In total the Crown Estate has leased over 40 sites for tidal current and wave projects. The new leases have seen five new sites, each with the potential to deliver a project of between 10 and 30 MW.
Photo: John Haslam