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£10M Government boost for tidal array in Scotland

UK Government provides grant funding to Pentland Firth tidal array scheme.

The UK Government has provided a £10M boost to the Mygen tidal array project in North Scotland. Once complete the project will generate enough electricity to power 175,000 homes and provide 100 jobs in the area. The news of a £10M grant funding boost from the UK Government arrived on Thursday of last week alongside news that the Scottish Government will also provide £20.5M of joint funding with the Highlands and Islands Enterprise. 

The £51M scheme could inspire further investment and energy projects in the Pentland Firth, resulting in the provision of clean, sustainable and secure energy and jobs for the local community for further generations. 

The project provides an example of how the UK and Scottish Governments, in addition to other agencies and organisations, have worked together closely to create losing benefits for Scotland and the UK. 

Energy Secretary Ed Davey said: “This innovative and exciting project puts Scotland and the UK on the map as a global leader in marine technology – meaning jobs, better energy security and the potential to export this technology to the world.

“The project also shows what can be done when the UK and Scottish Governments work together to provide a lasting benefit for the people of Scotland.

“Meygen will be the biggest tidal stream array in the world, providing enough electricity for 175,000 homes and 100 ‘green jobs’ when completed.

“Wave and tidal power have the potential to provide more than 20% of the UK’s electricity needs, and Meygen could pave the way for future projects in the Pentland Firth.”

Energy Minister Fergus Ewing commented on the Scottish Government funding: “The funding announced today will help bring to life innovative and exciting plans to develop the world’s largest tidal power project in Scotland.

“Our ambition for Scotland’s emerging wave and tidal sectors remains great. The Pentland Firth development takes our ambition to the next level and further cements Scotland’s reputation as a world leader in deploying renewables technology.

“We know that the successful harnessing of ocean power takes hard work and persistence which is why we are determined to support those in the industry.

“By developing clean, green energy we are creating opportunities for communities in the north of Scotland and delivering jobs and investment.”

The UK Government funding has been made possible by the Marine Energy Array Demonstrator (MEAD) Scheme, part of £185M the UK Government is investing in low-carbon technologies. The UK alone has around 50% of Europe’s tidal energy resource and thanks to its geography around 20% of the UK’s Electricity demand could be met through wave and tidal stream energy. 

The Meygen project forms part of the £100Bn of private sector investment the UK Government aims to attract in new cleaner electricity infrastructure between now and 2020, when the country’s gas and coal powered energy plants are expected to be taken offline.