The Crown Estate has announced the successful bidders for the world’s first commercial wave and tidal leasing round at 10 sites in Scotland’s Pentland Firth and Orkney waters.
The successful bids have been selected from 42 applications put forward by 20 developers wishing to install commercial-scale energy generators in Scottish waters.
The 1.2GW of installed capacity proposed by the wave and tidal energy developers for 2020 — 600MW each from wave and tidal — is claimed to be four times the peak output of Dounreay power station; providing enough electricity to meet the needs of up to 750,000 homes.
The developers have signed Agreements for Lease with the Crown Estate to take forward the development of their wave and tidal energy installations. According to the Crown Estate, this will allow developers to enter the statutory consenting process for their sites with security of access to the seabed.
These waters have been described as the Saudi Arabia of marine power
Successful wave bids include Aquamarine Power and SSE Renewables Developments, which have been granted leases to develop 200MW for the Brough Head site; and Pelamis Wave Power, which will work with E.ON on two 50MW projects in West Orkney as well as a separate 50MW project at Armadale.
SSE Renewables Developments (UK) has been granted leases to develop 200MW by harnessing tidal energy from the Westray South site; while Marine Current Turbines will develop 100MW at the Brough Ness site.
First minister Alex Salmond said: ‘These waters have been described as the Saudi Arabia of marine power and the wave and tidal projects unveiled today — exceeding the initial 700MW target capacity — underline the rich natural resources of the waters off Scotland.’
Tidal stream shallow costs, like wave, are estimated to fall greatly through time from £308 to £504 per MWh at pre-demonstration, through £144 to £213 per MWh at demonstration, eventually down to £100 to £150 per MWh in 2050 (See Figures 2 and 3).
Similarly, tidal stream deep projects are estimated to fall from £456 to £633 per MWh at pre-demonstration, through £210 to £301 per MWh at demonstration, eventually down to £74 to £117 per MWh in 2050.
With reference to Figures 2 and 3, it is envisaged that the initial deployment is largely to occur in shallow waters (<40-50m). Exploitation of deeper tidal stream sites would only follow on later.
Marine Energy Action Plan 2010, Executive Summary & Recommendations