Monday, August 25, 2014

Scotland Is Building the World’s Largest Tidal Array

The Energy Tide 2, the largest tidal energy turbine ever deployed in the U.S., is seen on a barge Monday, June 13, 2011, in Portland, Maine. (Credit: AP/Robert F. Bukaty) Click to enlarge.
Scotland is building what it calls the world’s biggest tidal array in the Pentland Firth in northern Scotland, the country’s government announced last week.

Once built, the tidal array is projected to provide enough electricity to power 175,000 homes, and will also create up to 100 jobs.  Construction is slated to begin later this year, and the first phase will install four 1.5-megawatt turbines that will start supplying power to the grid in 2016.  Overall, the project will involve installing up to 269 turbines on the seafloor, which will capture the energy of ocean tides.

The U.K. is hoping to replace a fifth of its aging coal and gas plants with renewable energy by 2020.  According to the government, the U.K. has about 50 percent of Europe’s energy tidal energy resources, and if developed fully, wave and tidal stream energy could meet 20 percent of the U.K.’s demand for power.  Already, Scotland is home to the world’s first commercial wave power generator, and the government estimates that marine-based renewable energy like tidal arrays could one day power 750,000 homes in Scotland.

Scotland Is Building the World’s Largest Tidal Array

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