The Scottish government has approved the 30MW West Islay Tidal Energy Park to be built by Irish firm DP Marine Energy and its Belgian development partner, Bluepower off South West Scotland.

Featuring 30 tidal energy converters, the offshore tidal generating station will generate enough power to cater to the consumption needs of around 18,000 Scottish homes. The tidal project is expected to create about 32 jobs in the region while helping Scotland to increase its clean, renewable electricity generation and thereby meet its climate change obligations.

According to Scotland Business, Innovation and Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse, marine renewable provides a huge potential to the country’s economy and to rural communities all around the world.

Wheelhouse added: “Scotland has a third of UK’s tidal stream resources and two thirds of its wave resources. We are also home to the world’s leading wave and tidal test centre, the world’s largest planned tidal stream array and the world’s largest tidal turbine.”

The Minister concluded that the proposed offshore tidal generating station builds upon the robust foundation built in the country.

The West Islay Tidal Energy Park which was cleared by the Scottish Ministers will come up nearly 6kms on an area of about 8kms2 off the south-west coast of the Island of Islay in Argyll and Bute.

According to DP Energy, the parent of DP Marine Energy, there is a substantial flow of tidal resource in the south-west Scottish coast. It adds that the tidal resource has flows closing to 8knots with the water from the Atlantic Ocean flowing into and out of the northern portion of the Irish Sea.

The deployment of tidal turbines as per DP Energy in the proposed site is ideal with the combination of the flat sea bed having 35-50m water depths.