Wave project approval

The Scottish government has granted approval for npower renewables’ plan to build the world’s largest wave power project off the island of Lewis.

The renewable energy developer has been working on the Siadar Wave Energy Project (SWEP) with Inverness-based wave technology company, Wavegen, since 2006.

The project intends to use power from the Atlantic waves in Siadar Bay to generate up to 4MW of electricity. This could be enough to supply electricity for approximately 1,500 homes in the Western Isles.

Paul Cowling, managing director of npower renewables, said: ‘Scotland has immense potential in marine energy and the opportunity to be a world leader in marine renewables.

‘This consent is an important milestone in the development of wave power technology and is to be celebrated. However, commercial demonstration projects such as Siadar still face significant economic challenges.’

These challenges are being addressed by the Scottish-government-proposed multiple Renewable Obligation Certificates (ROC) scheme, which is designed to fund a greater number of marine energy generation initiatives. SWEP will be one of the first projects to operate under the scheme.

Matthew Seed, chief executive at Wavegen, said: ‘Wavegen is delighted that the Scottish government has consented the SWEP, validating the pioneering work Wavegen and npower renewables have put into the project development.

‘The SWEP will be a major step in the development of the wave energy industry in Scotland and worldwide. Wavegen’s proven technology will now be employed at full commercial scale, paving the way for real cost efficiencies, which will bring the cost of wave energy closer to that of more established technologies.’