Scotland to host one of world’s biggest wave stations
It is one of the first marine renewable energy projects to be approved in the UK and follows the recent launch of the £10 million Saltire Prize.
“These kind of near-shore wave machines will be important for many of Scotland’s coastal communities in the future and we welcome the go-ahead for this pioneering scheme,” said Dr Richard Dixon, Director of WWF Scotland.
“Scotland is a world leader on exploiting wave power and continued support for these green energy schemes will deliver huge export benefits in technology and expertise.
“We want the Scottish Climate Change Bill to set tough targets to drive Scotland towards a low-carbon economy and clean, green energy will be an important part of that transition.”
Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond said: “Today’s announcement is a significant step in Scotland’s journey to become a world leader in renewables. The Siadar wave farm will be one of the largest consented wave electricity generating stations in the world. It is the first commercial wave farm in Scotland and is starting with a capacity to power around 1,800 homes.”
The Scottish Government granted consent in September 2007 for a 3 MW array comprising 4 Pelamis machines at the European Marine Energy Centre in Orkney. The Pelamis machines float on the surface of the waves, as distinct to the 40 turbines (4MW) at the proposed Siadar wave energy station, which will be encased within a concrete breakwater structure.
The government's Energy Consents Unit is currently processing 30 renewable project applications - 23 wind farms and seven hydro projects, with more applications expected. Their target is to meet 50 per cent of electricity demand from renewables by 2020, and an interim target of 31 per cent by 2011.