Small firms hoping to enter the wave and tidal power market have been given a boost by the Crown Estate.
It said today it was dropping the level of financial guarantees it requires from firms to no more than £5million per project, from £25million previously.
The new levels take effect from January and are expected to make it easier and more affordable for smaller companies to take on seabed lease options.
Gareth Baird, the Crown Estate’s Scottish commissioner, said: “We are pleased to be announcing this significant step forward to help drive the UK’s emerging wave and tidal industry, making it more accessible for small businesses.
“No longer requiring financial security over third-party liabilities arising under the lease agreement is a clear example of how we are supporting the growth of the industry.”
Dan Pearson, chief executive at MeyGen, a consortium of International Power, Morgan Stanley and Atlantis Resources, which has plans for a 398 megawatt tidal stream array in the Pentland Firth, said: “MeyGen welcomes this positive policy change by the Crown Estate as it will help encourage new developers and investors to this nascent but fast-developing industry.
“It also demonstrates how the continued, regular dialogue between existing developers and the Crown Estate is working well.”