Xodus Supports UK’s First Commercial Scale Tidal Energy Project

Xodus Supports UK’s First Commercial Scale Tidal Energy Project

Independent, international energy consultancy Xodus Group has been retained by MeyGen Ltd to provide further environmental support for a major tidal project in the Pentland Firth, Scotland.

The initial contract for Phase 1 of the project, was awarded in March 2011 and is now valued at more than £450,000. The work conducted to date has considered the possible positive or negative impacts of the project on the local environment as well as potential social and economic aspects.

Up to 86 1MW tidal turbines are planned for Phase 1 of the project. The turbines will be located in approximately 1.1km2 of the Inner Sound of the Pentland Firth off the north coast of Scotland between Caithness on the Scottish mainland and the Island of Stroma. The electricity generated from the project will be exported onshore for transmission to the national grid.

The Environmental Statement (ES) supporting the offshore marine license application and onshore planning application for the MeyGen Phase 1 Tidal Energy Project was submitted to Marine Scotland and the Highland Council in July 2012. A nine month determination period now follows with the outcome expected in April 2013.

Prepared by Xodus through its work with the developer MeyGen and other specialist consultants, the ES represents the culmination of four years’ of consultation, surveys and assessment.

Xodus is highly experienced in permit applications and environmental impact assessments. Through its fully integrated offering, it also delivers complete commercial solutions for renewable projects through its extensive suite of capabilities from engineering and project management to technical safety and risk management services.

The group now boasts more than 25 offshore renewable energy clients and is committed to developing its low carbon and renewables business. The Low Carbon team has 20 people at its Orkney office who, in collaboration with 50 colleagues across the UK, are working on a number of local and international projects to help make wave, tidal and offshore wind power a sustainable reality. As a rapidly growing sector, the team recently welcomed five new members of staff who will be based throughout the UK.

Liz Foubister, marine renewables specialist based in the Orkney office, said: “This is a significant project globally. Xodus has seen the potential of commercial scale wave and tidal projects in the Pentland Firth and Orkney waters since it was first touted more than a decade ago. Working with MeyGen has allowed the company to fully utilize its broad range of capabilities in this sector and has enabled the growth of not only our team but also our technical expertise and service offering.

“We continue to enjoy a great working relationship with MeyGen who have been extremely cooperative throughout the project. We hope they have learnt as much from us as we have about them and the growing tidal market.”

Liz Foubister will be presenting a paper on the experiences gained from the UK’s first large scale tidal turbine Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) at Renewable UK, taking place from 30th October to 1st November in Glasgow.

MeyGen’s Environment and Consents Manager Ed Rollings, added:

“The relationship with the Xodus project team throughout the whole EIA process has been exceptional and they have produced an Environmental Statement that everyone involved can be very proud of.”

Press Release, October 30, 2012

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