The Crown Estate announced today that it has invited four companies to tender for a tidal energy project at the Inner Sound.
The Inner Sound lies within the Pentland Firth and Orkney waters strategic area, between Caithness on the Scottish mainland and the island of Stroma. As one of the most energetic tidal areas in the Pentland Firth, it has the potential for a significant commercial project of 200MW or more installed capacity.
On 31 March, The Crown Estate announced the decision to re-tender the Inner Sound following a withdrawal of the preferred bidder during the first competitive wave and tidal leasing round in the Pentland Firth and Orkney waters.
Between 19 April and 28 May, companies were invited to make expressions of interest and complete pre-qualification questionnaires, as the first phase of competition for the site. The re-tendering process will now proceed to the second phase, which involves companies submitting detailed tenders.
Should a successful bidder emerge from the process, The Crown Estate plans to award an agreement for lease in the autumn.
Commenting on the announcement, Rob Hastings, director of the marine estate at The Crown Estate, said: ’We are pleased to see continuing interest in tidal energy development in the Inner Sound. On top of the potential 1,200MW of wave and tidal energy projects in the Pentland Firth and Orkney waters announced earlier this year, a project at the Inner Sound could further advance the industry.’