U.K. seeks wave, tidal developers for 700 MW at Pentland Firth

The United Kingdom’s Crown Estate invites applications for pre-qualification from wave and tidal power developers aimed at developing 700 MW of ocean generation in Scotland’s Pentland Firth by 2020. Responses are due December 19.

The Crown Estate, which protects and manages government resources to benefit the taxpayer, said Pentland Firth has six of the top ten sites in the United Kingdom for tidal power development.

Scottish Power Renewables said in September that Pentland Firth was one of three tidal power sites it was evaluating for potential development. (HNN 9/30/08) News reports quoted tidal developer Marine Current Turbines saying it plans to submit an application to the Crown Estate to deploy up to 50 MW of its SeaGen units at Pentland Firth by 2015 and up to 300 MW more by 2020 if the electricity grid is adequate. (HNN 7/24/08)

The Round 1 leasing program is aimed at delivering 700 MW of new offshore wave and tidal power by 2020, bringing significant economic benefits to northern Scotland. The Crown Estate is to examine applications closely to see what community benefits developers can incorporate and to subject proposals to comprehensive environmental assessment.

The initial devices to be installed are expected to be full-sized demonstration units deployed in small arrays. Larger scale development might require improvements to the grid, the agency said, adding full-scale commercial development definitely would require significant investment in the grid.

Applications for pre-qualification are due by noon December 19. On January 26, 2009, bids are to be invited from pre-qualified applicants. Bids are to be due April 24, 2009. Successful applications are to be selected in mid-2009.

Applications for pre-qualification may be submitted on the Crown Estate Etendering Internet site at https://etendering.thecrownestate.co.uk/web/login.shtml.

For information, contact Ian Pritchard, The Crown Estate, 16 New Burlington Place, London W1S 2HX United Kingdom; (44) 20-78515279; Fax: (44) 20-78515125; E-mail: ian.pritchard@thecrownestate.co.uk; Internet: www.thecrownestate.co.uk.

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