The Scottish government has granted consent to MeyGen Ltd to build the first tidal energy scheme in the inner sound of the Pentland Firth, between the Caithness coast and Orkney.
The consent covers building an 86-megawatt tidal array in stages, starting next year with a 9MW demonstration project of up to six turbines. This is scheduled to become operational in 2015.
This initial deployment is a proving exercise and capacity expansion beyond this depends on commercial prospects being realised and the agreement of shareholders and investors. Minimising the array’s environmental impacts is another company priority at this stage.