World?s First Wave and Tidal Energy Leasing Round to Power

The 1.2 GW of installed capacity proposed by the wave and tidal energy developers for 2020, 600 MW each from wave and tidal, is four times the peak output of Dounreay power station. This is enough electricity to meet the needs of up to three quarters of a million homes.

The developers have signed agreements for lease with The Crown Estate to take forward the development of their wave and tidal energy installations. This will allow developers to enter the statutory consenting process for their sites with security of access to the seabed.

As owners of the UK seabed out to the 12 nautical mile territorial limit and over 55 percent of the foreshore, we have been working closely with our partners, Scottish Government, Highlands & Islands Enterprise, Orkney Islands Council and the Highland Council, to maximise the benefits to the local area and the rest of Scotland from investments such as the offshore renewable energy programme.

The developers who have signed a total of ten agreements for lease are:


* SSE Renewables Developments Ltd, 200 MW for Costa Head site
* Aquamarine Power Ltd & SSE Renewables Developments Ltd, 200 MW for Brough Head site
* Scottish Power Renewables UK Ltd, 50 MW for Marwick Head site
* E.ON, 50 MW for West Orkney South site
* E.ON, 50 MW for West Orkney Middle South site
* Pelamis Wave Power Ltd, 50 MW for Armadale site.


* SSE Renewables Developments (UK) Ltd, 200 MW for Westray South site
* SSE Renewables Holdings (UK) Ltd & OpenHydro Site Development Ltd, 200 MW for Cantick Head site
* Marine Current Turbines Ltd, 100 MW for Brough Ness site
* Scottish Power Renewables UK Ltd, 100 MW for Ness of Duncansby site.

The First Minister, Alex Salmond, MSP, MP said: “Today marks a major milestone in the global journey towards a low carbon future, with the commercial-scale deployment of marine renewables set to power our economies and help safeguard the planet for generations to come. These waters have been described as the Saudi Arabia of marine power and the wave and tidal projects unveiled today – exceeding the initial 700 MW target capacity – underline the rich natural resources of the waters off Scotland.

“Leading international energy companies and innovators continue to be drawn to Scottish waters, which boast as much as a quarter of Europe’s tidal and offshore wind resource and a tenth of the continent’s potential wave capacity. Together with some 11 GW of planned offshore wind developments, these latest marine renewables projects show that Scotland is powering ahead in the development and deployment of clean, green energy.

“The Scottish Government is working with The Crown Estate, developers and key partners to support this rapidly-growing industry, to ensure communities such as those in Caithness and Orkney are well-placed to reap the benefits and to secure Scotland’s position as the green energy powerhouse of Europe.”

The Secretary of State for Scotland Jim Murphy said: “This is a welcome world-first for Scotland and I am happy to see the major steps being taken to harness Scotland’s wave and tidal energy. It is an extremely exciting time for renewables in Scotland and across the rest of the UK as we use more of our natural resources to generate our power.

“Scotland is naturally placed to make the most of this green revolution and we will continue to work with others to ensure the potential of Scottish waters, alongside wind power, is fully met.

“It is encouraging to see the number of successful bidders for the Pentland Firth and Orkney waters. There is no doubt we are set to see a significant expansion in the commercial development of wave and tidal energy in the near future and the UK government will continue to put a low-carbon and energy-secure future at the heart of its priorities.”

Roger Bright, Chief Executive of The Crown Estate said: “I am delighted that today, in Wick and Kirkwall, we have announced the successful bidders for the world’s first commercial wave and tidal leasing round in the Pentland Firth and Orkney waters. The 1.2 GW of marine renewable generation capacity, 600 MW each from wave and tidal, is generating four times the electricity of Dounreay power station in its heyday. This shows the world that marine energy can produce significant electrical power and offer a real alternative to conventional power production.

“This announcement demonstrates the UK’s position as the leader in wave and tidal technologies. Through our experience and some of the best natural resources in the world we have been able to launch the first wave and tidal energy projects on a commercial scale. This emerging industry has a bright and promising future, with vast amounts of untapped energy in the seas all around us, and The Crown Estate looks forward to working with partners in Wick and Kirkwall to realise the area’s marine energy potential.”

The level of competition for sites within the leasing round area, with bids from 20 companies for 42 sites, highlights the appetite for companies to invest in Scottish waters. The Crown Estate takes its stewardship responsibility very seriously, and is pleased that this has resulted in the signing of agreements for lease with those companies demonstrating the clearest ability and pedigree to make best use of these sites in a responsible manner.