Scotland will soon be the host for the largest tidal array the world has ever seen. The government announced recently that it is building this facility in Pentland Firth in Northern Scotland. This will bring in a lot of jobs and energy security in this region, the government said.
Plans for the MeyGen Tidal Array Project
The government has earmarked £10 million of grant funding to this MeyGen project. Other major funders of the project include The Crown Estate and the Scottish Government.
The 398 MW MeyGen project of Atlantis Resource includes a total of 269 turbines. The company said that construction on this tidal array will begin on the project’s first stage which is scheduled towards the end of this year. There will be four 1.5 MW turbines installed on the seabed
Major portions of the funding for the project will be shouldered by three parties. £10 million will be coming from the Crown Estate, £20.5 million from the Scottish government and another £10 million from the Department of Energy and Climate Change of the UK government.
It is projected that this tidal array will provide electricity to thousands of homes in Northern Scotland. The construction of the project will also require huge numbers of manpower and when completed will need 100 jobs to operate and maintain.
The total cost of this tidal array is around £51 million and the government hopes that it will encourage additional projects in Pentland Firth. With more similar projects, this region will enjoy clean, sustainable and secure energy, aside from the jobs that they will create for the local community for years to come.
“This innovative and exciting project puts Scotland and the UK on the map as a global leader in marine technology – meaning jobs, better energy security and the potential to export this technology to the world,” says Energy Secretary Ed Davey of Scotland.
“The project also shows what can be done when the UK and Scottish governments work together to provide a lasting benefit for the people of Scotland,” he added.
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The effort to harness tidal and wave energy is not exclusive to Scotland. Last month, Wales disclosed a 156-ton tidal power generator which is designed to supply up to 400 kilowatts of energy to the country’s grid. The generator is called “Spirit of the Sea” and the company that built it wants to develop nine more of these types of generators.
Eventually, when the project is completed, the company hopes to provide enough electricity to about 10,000 homes from the total projected generator capacity of 10 megawatts.
At present, Scotland already has the world’s first commercial wave generator. It is now leading in the areas of research and development in the tidal sector. The government hopes to encourage the development of similar projects as it aims to have marine-based renewable energy such as tidal arrays powering 750,000 homes in the future. The tidal array project represents a major step in the right direction for UK renewable energy.