The Inner Sound lies within the Pentland Firth and Orkney waters strategic area, between Caithness on the Scottish mainland and the island of Stroma. According to Crown Estate, the area has potential for a commercial project of 200MW or more installed capacity.

In March, Crown Estate announced the decision to re-tender the Inner Sound, following withdrawal of the preferred bidder during the first competitive wave and tidal leasing round in the Pentland Firth and Orkney waters.

Between April 19 and May 28, companies were invited to make expressions of interest and complete pre-qualification questionnaires, as the first phase of competition for the site. The re-tendering process will now proceed to the second phase, which involves companies submitting tenders.

Crown Estate said that, should a successful bidder emerge from the process, it will plan to award an agreement for lease in the autumn.

Rob Hastings, director of marine estate at Crown Estate, said: “We are pleased to see continuing interest in tidal energy development in the Inner Sound. On top of the potential 1,200MW of wave and tidal energy projects in the Pentland Firth and Orkney waters announced earlier this year, a project at the Inner Sound could further advance the industry.”