Firm investigates tidal power bridge

An Orkney firm is in Shetland today to conduct further on-site investigations into a scheme that would combine a bridge between Yell and Unst with a tidal generator.

Aquatera is now entering a “detailed design” stage of the multi-million pound project, which would pay for itself by generating some 30-40MW of electricity. As such it would be one of an increasing number of energy schemes dependent on the installation of an inter-connector cable between Shetland and the Scottish mainland which would feed into the National Grid.

The Stromness-based company, founded in 2000, is bringing Dutch engineers north for a further site investigation. It has previously met with councillors, landowners and the community which gave the project a “positive reception”.

According to Aquatera’s Ian Johnstone, the tidal generators would form part of the bridge structure or be accessible from the bridge. The team will be meeting the SIC tomorrow to further discuss the project.

Aquatera is looking at similar projects in Scotland and Orkney. The firm says it has a passion for renewable energy development, believing that it can provide substantial amounts of quality energy, which can be used to offset energy produced from carbon-emitting technologies.

In addition to experience in renewable energy, Aquatera and its associates “have a vast knowledge of wider environmental and social studies, particularly in offshore and coastal areas.” The team has completed numerous research projects, including a number funded by the UK Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and other government bodies.

• For the full story, see this week’s Shetland Times.


Add Your Comment
  • Allen Fraser

    • April 1st, 2014 22:49

    What a fantastic idea.
    To build a barrier across Bluemull Sound vast amounts of rock will need to be quarried. An obvious source for this rock will be the SIC’s tunnel beneath Bluemull Sound. The SIC can dig a tunnel and sell the rock to the tidefarm thus getting a free tunnel and a free bridge at the same time.

    I can see how those who brought us successful investments of public money such as the Bressay Brig would endorse such a scheme.

    Planning permissions for this and other such schemes is a foregone conclusion in the eyes the developers and should be no barrier to investment of many hundreds of millions of pounds laying an interconnector cable to Scotland. Perhaps the SIC can pay for the cable from the money saved on the free tunnel.

  • Robert Duncan

    • April 2nd, 2014 17:34

    I wonder if the Shetland Times intentionally held off on reporting this until after 12pm yesterday? I know I personally would have lumped it alongside things like a floating school and North Mainland casino otherwise.


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