The Crown Estate, which owns the UK seabed out to the 12-nautical mile territorial limit and around half of the foreshore, has awarded an agreement for lease for the Inner Sound tidal project to MeyGen, a joint venture between Atlantis, International Power and Morgan Stanley. With a capacity of up to 400 MW, the project is one of the world’s largest planned commercial tidal stream energy developments.
The Inner Sound lies within the Pentland Firth and Orkney waters strategic area, between Caithness on the Scottish mainland and the island of Stroma. It is one of the most energetic tidal areas in the Pentland Firth.
With the addition of the Inner Sound, there are now 11 Pentland Firth and Orkney waters projects. The total potential capacity is 1.6 GW. The Crown Estate will now increase the enabling actions fund, intended to accelerate and reduce risks in development, from its current level of £4.0 million to £5.6 million.
“The Inner Sound is known as the crown jewel of the Pentland Firth and MeyGen has the potential to be a flagship marine energy project. The challenge now is to transform that potential into reality,” says Dan Pearson, chief executive of MeyGen.
“This agreement, for one of the world’s largest commercial-scale tidal energy developments, further confirms Scotland as natural home for marine renewables,” remarks Scottish Government Energy Minister Jim Mather. “We will continue to work with The Crown Estate to support low carbon developments, ensure communities can reap the benefits and secure Scotland’s position as the green energy capital of Europe.”