Elaine Maslin, 24th May 2012
Scotland’s wave and tidal industry was yesterday given a double boost.
First Minister Alex Salmond announced at All-Energy the £18million Marine Renewables Commercialisation Fund had now opened, paving the way for the building of the first wave and tidal arrays off Scottish coasts.
UK Energy Minister Charles Hendry also announced a new project by the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) which will look for cost-effective ways to deploy tidal-stream technologies at commercial scale.
The tidal energy converter (Tec) system demonstrator project will be run by a team led by Atlantis Resources, which is testing a tidal device off Orkney, over two phases lasting 16 months and then a further three years if successful.
This could see the ETI, a public-private partnership, invest some £13.2million over the two phases.
Orkney’s European Marine Energy Centre (Emec) also announced a new partnership which will see it help set up a grid-connected marine-energy test centre off the US Pacific north-west coast.
This will result in Emec, which this year saw all its wave and tidal test berths off Orkney fully booked, working with the Oregon Wave Energy Trust and its partner, Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Centre.
Mr Salmond also announced the first award from the £70million National Renewables Infrastructure Fund, which aims to help ports and manufacturing sites capitalise on offshore-wind and marine-renewables opportunities.
WB Westway, in Renfrewshire, will get £500,000 to help develop its 53-hectare site.