The Scottish government approved a project developed by Scottish Power Renewables for the construction of a large demonstration plant for electricity generation from tides in the Sound of Islay, the sea that separates the Isle of Islay from Jura, on the west coast of Scotland.
The project involves an investment of £40 million (about €46 million) for the installation of 10, 1 MW wind turbines. This is the world’s largest project in this field and is considered essential to test a possible large-scale deployment of this technology. Specifically, it is expected to allow a better understanding of the technical aspects of equipment distribution and maintenance, as well as of analysis systems and performance monitoring.
The coasts of Scotland are among the most suitable sites in the world for the exploitation of tidal currents. The Sound of Islay was chosen by Scottish Power Renewables following a study that was carried out along the coast of the UK. It showed that this site is ideal site because it has strong tidal currents, is protected from storms and is close to an adequate electricity grid.