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Interested in developing tidal energy off Scotland?

The UK Crown Estate is inviting expressions of interest for a tidal energy project in the Inner Sound between Caithness on the Scottish mainland and the island of Stroma.

As one of the most energetic tidal areas in the Pentland Firth, the Inner Sound has potential for a significant commercial tidal energy project, The Crown Estate says. The tidal energy project could increase the potential capacity in the Pentland Firth and Orkney waters to more than 1200 MW.

Successful bidders for the first competitive wave and tidal leasing round in the Pentland Firth and Orkney waters were announced on 16 March.

During the leasing round process, The Crown Estate received bids for development in the Inner Sound, but the preferred bidder withdrew at a late stage in the process. The Crown Estate has therefore decided to re-tender the Inner Sound tidal project.

The Crown Estate is particularly keen to receive expressions of interest in a single commercial project of 200 MW or more installed capacity, to be constructed and operating by 2020.

Rob Hastings, Director of the Marine Estate at The Crown Estate, says: “After the successful launch of 10 wave and tidal projects in the Pentland Firth and Orkney waters, with a potential capacity of 1200 MW, we are delighted to make the Inner Sound available for further commercial bids.

“A tidal project in the Inner Sound could significantly increase the local generation of marine renewable energy and further advance the wave and tidal energy industry. And an increase to the enabling actions fund would help further accelerate and reduce risks in development, through environmental survey work, for example.”

The deadline for expressions of interest and pre-qualification will be Friday 28 May 2010. The proposed area for development in the Inner Sound is pre-defined, and a map and coordinates are available on The Crown Estate website.

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