Crown Estate Approves Six Sites for Tidal and Wave Projects (UK)

The Crown Estate has given the go-ahead for an investigation into the possibility of locating up to six tidal turbines in the Irish Sea that would generate enough electricity to supply 2,700 homes.

Two Scottish companies, Nautricity Ltd, a Scottish developer of tidal generation technology, and Argyll Tidal Ltd are behind the scheme.

The waters off the Mull of Kintyre offer strong tidal flows and the required grid capacity to handle the array could be made available in the area. The turbines would be completely submerged and not visible from shore and they would have no measurable adverse impact on the marine environment.

Argyll Tidal has entered into an Agreement For Lease with The Crown Estate which gives it the rights to carry out detailed investigation of the available tidal resource, and to ensure that any development will not conflict with other marine users in the area.

The company is to commission a comprehensive environmental impact assessment and a community and stakeholder engagement exercise to ensure the project commands popular local support. The investigations are expected to take up to two years to complete.

Under the proposal Nautricity, a Scottish tidal technology developer, would eventually site up to six, 500KW turbines, known as CoRMaT on a small patch of seabed. Its patented rotor system overcomes many of the problems which have, until now, made tidal energy production uneconomic.

While conventional tidal devices resemble wind turbines constructed on the seabed, incurring enormous deployment and engineering costs, CoRMaT is a small capsule, tethered to a sub- surface float, which uses a novel, contrarotating rotor system to effectively harness tidal energy.

The turbines can be deployed in water depths of up to 500m and, because their closely spaced rotors move in opposite directions, they remain steady in the face of strong tidal flows, allowing them to “fly” from a simple tensioned mooring, and always pointing directly into the tide for maximum energy capture.

The proposed array would generate more than 10 GigaWatt hours (GW/h) of clean, renewable energy, saving more than 3000 tonnes of CO2 emissions were it to replace coal-fired generation.

 “Over the coming months, we will be carrying out a number of surveys to understand the site’s tidal resource and marine environment in detail and will be meeting all affected community stakeholders to understand and their concerns and make sure we take them fully into account,” Said a spokesman for Argyll Tidal.

 Dave Pratt, Director of Nautricity, which has a shareholding in Argyll Tidal, said: “We are delighted to be working with Argyll Tidal on this project.

 “With successful consent and confirmation of the tidal flow regime, we should be able to deploy an array of our CoRMaT turbines, progressing our vision of making tidal energy generation a commercial reality and harvesting a valuable Scottish resource.”


Source: nautricity, October 12, 2011