Developers of the world’s largest tidal stream energy plant have set out ambitious plans to slash its power generation costs by more than half in an attempt to secure subsidies for the project to continue. Atlantis Resources has installed four turbines on the seabed between the northern Scottish mainland and the island of Stroma. It hopes to expand the project, known as Meygen, eventually to build 260 such machines, which it likens to “underwater windmills”, harnessing some of the fastest-flowing waters in Britain to generate up to 398 megawatts of electricity, enough to power 175,000 homes. Meanwhile a project to test new floating wind farm technology off the coast of Scotland faces a race against time to win planning consent before the subsidy scheme it requires is scrapped. The Dounreay Tri development would involve two five-megawatt turbines being attached to a floating, semi-submersible rig anchored to the seabed near Thurso. To proceed, it needs planning permission from Scottish ministers in time to qualify for the renewables obligation subsidy scheme, which shuts at midnight on March 31. The scheme would offer it subsidies worth about £140 per megawatt-hour on top of the market price.
Times 6th March 2017 read more »