Wave energy company Aquamarine Power has secured seabed leases to capture up to 40MW of wave energy off the west coast of Lewis, Scotland.
Following a series of meetings and consultation with the local community, stakeholders and officials, the Edinburgh firm has obtained two leases from seabed owner the Crown Estate. This will enable the company to start environmental and feasibility studies and continue working with the local community and other key groups on the potential to install the company’s Oyster wave energy technology.
Aquamarine Power will need to secure planning consents from Comhairle nan Eilean Siar and government regulator Marine Scotland before any development can take place.
Representatives of the company have already met with local landowners to discuss their outline plans, and will issue a ‘scoping report’ seeking views of statutory and local consultees on the draft proposal. The company will undertake extensive environmental monitoring and consultation before formally submitting an application to Marine Scotland later this year.
The company secured a 10MW demonstration lease for a site between Siadar and Fivepenny, known as the Galson site; and a 30MW lease granted under the Crown Estate’s recent ‘Saltire Prize’ leasing round – which offers an area of search between Bàgh Dhail Beag and Tràigh Shanndaigh.
The company will take guidance and work closely with local communities and stakeholders to identify the most appropriate 30MW site within the search area. Once this has been identified and Aquamarine Power has secured all permissions and consents required, they will seek a formal lease with the Crown Estate. The lease area will be known as the North West Lewis site. Following this the rest of the search area will become available to other potential developers seeking a seabed lease.
The development has the potential to see up to 40 Oyster nearshore devices installed across both locations on an approximate 2km stretch of coast. The proposed sites would have a total installed capacity of 40MW and could provide enough energy to power 38,000 homes.
Aquamarine Power installed its first Oyster at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney in 2009 and is about to install its second full scale device – known as Oyster 2 – in Orkney this summer.