Government backs major tidal energy projects
The Government is to back a range of major research and development projects that will focus on generating tidal energy at scale, while addressing the technological challenges faced in the deployment of arrays in the waters off the north and western coasts of Scotland.
The UK’s innovation agency, the Technology Strategy Board, and Scottish Enterprise will undertake the work in collaboration with the Scottish Government and Highlands and Islands Enterprise.
Over £6.5 million will be invested in seven new projects that will tackle the common issues faced by those developing marine energy arrays.
Companies leading the research and development are: CC Hydrosonics Ltd (Harlow), IT Power Ltd (Bristol), Mojo Maritime Ltd (Falmouth), SSE Renewables (Perth), Tension Technology International Ltd (Eastbourne), Tidal Generation Ltd (Bristol) and TidalStream Ltd (Southam).
One of the projects will see SSE Renewables, ScottishPower Renewables and four leading tidal turbine developers work on electrical connection architectures for large-scale tidal power arrays.
Alongside this, Mojo Maritime will develop a patented vessel and operating concept aimed at reducing the cost of installation and through-life maintenance of tidal arrays, to a level comparable to the installed cost of offshore wind.
In addition, CC Hydrosonics and partners will develop a system that uses ultrasonic waves to prevent bio-fouling of submerged generators, without harm to marine life.
According to Iain Gray, chief executive of the Technology Strategy Board, the marine energy industry needs to demonstrate that energy from wave and tidal power can be generated, successfully, at scale and at a reduced cost.