An application from Marine Current Turbines, the UK tidal energy developer, to secure money from the European Union’s New Entrant Reserve (NER) scheme has been approved by the UK’s Department of Energy & Climate Change. Marine Current Turbines’ application for its proposed tidal farm in Scotland’s Kyle Rhea will now go forward for consideration by the European Investment Bank.
The EU’s NER scheme is a fund worth around EUR4.5 billion to support carbon capture and storage and innovative renewable projects, such as the Kyle Rhea tidal scheme, across the European Union. Marine Current Turbines (MCT) is one of four marine energy companies that have passed the UK Government’s criteria for the NER scheme.
The EIB will now spend nine months performing ‘due diligence’ on MCT’s application and the other applications submitted to it, checking their financial and technical deliverability. After this the European Commission will verify the eligibility criteria assessment and re-confirm with the UK Government and the other EU Member States the public funding contribution for recommended projects, before making its award decisions.
Energy Minister Charles Hendry said: “I am very encouraged by the strength and breadth of the UK applications for this round of NER funding, with all the projects received by DECC meeting the eligibility criteria. They demonstrate that the UK is at the cutting edge of low carbon energy development.”
“Taking forward these sorts of technologies will be crucial to our move to a low carbon economy, providing green jobs as well as helping us lower emissions and increase energy security.”
Martin Wright, Chief Executive of Marine Current Turbines said: “We are very pleased to have made it through to the next stage of the NER funding process. It underlines the strength of our work to date on Kyle Rhea and over the past decade with our SeaFlow and SeaGen tidal systems as well as the UK Government’s strong desire to see a marine energy industry develop in this country.”
The Kyle Rhea tidal project will to have a maximum power of 8MW and the capacity to generate electricity for up to 8,000 homes. Subject to public consultation, planning consent and financing, MCT is aiming to deploy the 4 turbine tidal farm by 2014. The estimated cost of the Kyle Rhea project is £40m.
Marine Current Turbines will be exhibiting at the All Energy Conference 18th/19th May, 2011 (Stand A10).