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Wave power in Lewis

Aquamarine Power secures 40MW Lewis seabed leases

19 May 11

The Western Isles could capitalise on Scotland's green energy boom following the news today that Aquamarine Power has secured seabed leases to capture up to 40MW of wave energy off the west coast of Lewis.

Following a series of meetings with the local community, stakeholders and officials, we have obtained leases from seabed owner the Crown Estate. This will enable us to start environmental and feasibility studies and continue working with the local community and other key groups on the potential to install our Oyster wave energy technology.

We will need to secure planning consents from Comhairle nan Eilean Siar and government regulator Marine Scotland before any development can take place.

Scoping report

Representatives of Aquamarine Power have already met with local landowners to discuss our outline plans.  We will issue a 'scoping report' tomorrow seeking views of statutory and local consultees on our draft proposal. We will undertake extensive environmental monitoring and consultation before formally submitting an application to Marine Scotland later this year.

Aquamarine Power has secured two leases. One is a 10MW demonstration lease for a site between Siadar and Fivepenny, known as the Galson site; the other is 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.

We 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, we 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.

Potential to power 38,000 homes

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.

We have officially registered our intent to use the Lewis site to compete for the Scottish Government's Saltire Prize, a £10 million global prize for the wave or tidal technology which generates the greatest volume of electrical output over 100GWh over a continuous two year period using only the power of the sea.