The Scottish Government has granted consent for the 30MW West Islay Tidal Energy Park off the coast of the Scottish island of Islay in Argyll and Bute. The site which has been under development since 2009 by DP Energy and its partners Bluepower NV (a partnership between DEME Blue Energy and utility investor, Nuhma). The project reached this important milestone following extensive consultation with key stakeholders and by addressing the challenges brought about by the broad consenting approach. The design envelope is based on a technology neutral methodology enabling a wide range of turbine options to be included; fully submerged solutions, such as the Andritz Hydro Hammesfest and Atlantis turbines recently deployed at Meygen, as well as surface piercing solutions, and moored floating solutions such as the SR2000 device of ScotRenewables which recently reached peak power of 2MW at EMEC.
Simon De Pietro, CEO of DP Energy said:
“We have had to work through a number of challenges with the site due to demand by other marine users. This involved detailed discussion and agreement with the key stakeholders, most importantly with the local fishing interests (through the local fishing groups assisted by Scottish Fisherman’s Federation (SFF) and with the Ministry of Defence (MOD) because of the importance of the North Channel approach to the North Atlantic and naval activity in the area. Gaining consent was only possible with the cooperation of these parties and we remain committed to working with them and the wider community going forward”.
“West Islay is significant because it is the first time such a broad consenting envelope has been attempted successfully and the team will be reviewing technology options over the coming months to determine the best strategy for the development of the project”