From Green Futures we learn that Scotland has given approval for the installation of 10 underwater turbines which will generate 30 GW of electricity a year from the seafloor in the Sound of Islay.  This is one of the most reliable and strongest tidal streams in the UK.  Each turbine is 10 MW and together they will  power all the homes on the islands of Islay and Jura as well as their famous single malt whisky distilleries.

The turbines will sit 50 meters deep on the seabed in a 1 km-wide underwater canyon where the peak tidal flow is 3 meters per second. The first will be in place in 2013, with the full project up and running by 2015.

The tripod design is to allow for minimal ‘footprint’ on the ocean floor.

Lessons learned will be passed on to the more ambitious Pentland Firth project which will have hundreds of 400 MW turbines.

Other significant tidal projects in the world include South Korea’s Incheon Bay power station which, with a capacity of 1,320 MW, will be the largest in the world when it opens in 2017.


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