Monday, 17 October 2011

Over 30 wave and tidal sites now leased around UK

The Crown Estate today, 12 October 2011, announced eight new offshore site
agreements for wave and tidal energy projects, taking the total number of UK
projects to over 30. The new sites are from the second application window
for projects in connection with the Scottish Government’s Saltire Prize (in
Scottish waters) and demonstration projects, which opened in April 2011.

The projects are in a variety of locations around the UK coast, with the
majority off Scotland and including sites off Wales and Northern Ireland.
They range from small technology test schemes for short term installation to
commercial projects with up to 30 MW potential generating capacity.

Scottish Government Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said: “Scotland has the
potential to lead the world in wave and tidal energy, with a quarter of
Europe's tidal stream and a tenth of its wave energy potential. These new
projects around the north and west of Scotland bring the total number of
planned developments in Scotland to 25, including 1.6GW in the Pentland
Firth and Orkney waters strategic area. Today’s announcement further
reinforces the growing momentum and appetite for investment in marine
renewables and demonstrates the breadth of activity taking place around
Scotland’s coast.”

Carwyn Jones, First Minister of Wales, said: “The recently completed Marine
Renewable Energy Strategic Framework (MRESF) offers a unique data set to
assist developers in Wales and we are working with key partners, like The
Crown Estate, to take the industry forward. As one of the most advanced UK
tidal projects, already the subject of an environmental impact assessment
and in the consents process, Marine Current Turbines’ Skerries project near
Anglesey is an outstanding example of the future potential for marine energy
development off the Welsh coast.”

Arlene Foster, Minister for Enterprise Trade and Investment at the Northern
Ireland Executive, said: “Building on Northern Ireland’s proud heritage of
research and development in wave and tidal energy (for example the work of
Queen’s University Belfast which underpins Wavegen’s OWC technology), we are
delighted to see Swedish company Minesto plan to test its technology in
Strangford Lough. In collaboration with The Crown Estate, we will soon be
announcing opportunities for commercial scale offshore wind and tidal

Rob Hastings, Director of the Marine Estate, The Crown Estate, said: “Our
announcement today is a further indication of how UK companies are taking
strides forwards towards commercial deployment of wave and tidal energy,
particularly in Scotland. In the last six months we have continued to see
strong interest in wave and tidal leases. The Crown Estate’s growing wave
and tidal team looks forward to working with the companies to overcome
development barriers and see the projects come to fruition.”

This is the first time some of these developments have been proposed
publicly, reflecting the early stage they are at in the development process.
A key part of the development phase is consultation and community
engagement, and all developers will now begin or continue discussing their
plans with stakeholders local to each site. In most cases, the rights
awarded are ‘agreements for lease’ – exclusivity agreements for areas of
seabed. Using these agreements the project developers will survey the sites
and design projects in preparation to install generation devices in future.
Before construction begins and prior to The Crown Estate issuing leases for
any of the sites, the developers will need to obtain statutory consents from
relevant government regulators, such as Marine Scotland or the Marine
Management Organisation. This normally requires completion of an
Environmental Impact Assessment, and the statutory consenting process itself
includes further consultation with stakeholders to ensure developments
proceed only after the views of interested parties have been taken into

The third application window for Saltire Prize and demonstration projects,
which could result in more leases being awarded as soon as March 2012, will
open on 24 October 2011. For further details, see The Crown Estate website.

Today’s announcement refers to the following sites and companies:

· Bernera - Pelamis Wave Power Limited
· Moray Firth - AWS Ocean Energy Limited

Tidal stream
· West Islay - Marine Energy Limited
· Mull of Kintyre - Nautricity Limited
· Bluemull Sound - Nova Innovation Limited
· Sanda Sound - Oceanflow Development Limited
· Wales, Skerries - Marine Current Turbines Limited
· Northern Ireland, Strangford Lough - Minesto UK Limited


· Andrew Doe on 020 7851 5340 or