Renewable/Other Energy

Energy firms pour £7.6m into tidal-power project

PROTOTYPE: The firm’s SR250 floating tidal-stream turbine underwent trials at the Emec test site

A north renewables firm has received a multimillion-pound investment package from three international energy businesses.

Scotrenewables Tidal Power, of Orkney, has been given £7.6million by Norwegian group Fred Olsen, French oil and gas giant Total and Swiss firm ABB Technology Ventures to design, build and test its latest SR2000 tidal turbine.

It comes after Scotrenewables received a £1.2million grant from the Scottish Government’s Waters 2 fund, which aims to help Scottish developers and suppliers cash in on the growing international marine energy market.

Last month, the Stromness firm secured rights from the Crown Estate to help it progress a prototype tidal electricity generator in the islands to commercial development. It now has a lease to develop a 30MW tidal array at Lashy Sound, having previously tested its SR250 floating tidal-stream turbine at the Emec site in Orkney.

Orkney MSP Liam McArthur said the investment was a phenomenal endorsement of Scotrenewables’ work, adding: “The commitment from Fred Olsen, Total and ABB is vitally important in financial terms, but it also speaks volumes for the confidence these international companies have in Scotrenewables to deliver tidal energy at a commercial scale.

“Orkney is leading the world in the development of wave and tidal power generation. Today’s announcement is further confirmation of the progress . . . being made and an exciting future that lies ahead.”

Scotrenewables was one of five marine-energy developers which shared £7.9million under the Waters scheme – a joint venture between the Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise, with funding from the European Regional Development Fund.

First Minister Alex Salmond also welcomed Scotrenewables’ investment.

Speaking at Holyrood yesterday, Mr Salmond said: “This deal brings in a substantial amount of private funding from overseas; more than £6 in foreign investment for every £1 of public money.

“It is another example of how public money can be used to leverage private investment and help support industry to reach ever-more ambitious heights.”

Shetland windfarm developer Viking Energy has appointed a three-member board to take its 103-turbine project to the construction stage.

The company said Alan Bryce would become chairman and would be joined by Elsbeth Johnson and Joseph Philpsz.

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