This will be the key message today from Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon when she visits the MeyGen project, owned by Atlantis Resources, to see the first turbines in the planned tidal stream array on a visit to the Highlands
The first phase of the project, developed with £23 million Scottish Government funding, is expected to further develop the marine renewables industry and open up vital skilled job opportunities for those who are moving from the oil and gas sector.
When fully fitted, the 400MW project is expected to generate enough despatchable electricity to power to 175,000 Scottish homes.
Atlantis’ MeyGen and Sound of Islay projects are expected to generate around £275 million for Scotland’s economy.
Scotland is recognised as being a world leader in tidal energy innovation and deployment and has been at the forefront of efforts to tackle climate change.
During her visit Sturgeon will also call on the UK Government to end uncertainty around subsidies for wave and tidal stream projects which is putting the marine sector at risk. She said last night:
“MeyGen is set to invigorate the marine renewables industry in Scotland and provide vital jobs for a skilled workforce, retaining valuable offshore expertise here in Scotland that would otherwise be lost overseas. Highly skilled operation and maintenance jobs will also need to be carried out locally, providing strong local employment opportunity for rural areas.
“There is no doubt that the eyes of the world are on this project, which is why the Scottish Government’s investment is so crucially important.
“I am incredibly proud of Scotland’s role in leading the way in tackling climate change and investment in marine renewables is a hugely important part of this.
“But it is absolutely vital that the UK Government honours its earlier commitment to provide a ring-fenced allocation for marine energy in its renewables support scheme. They must tackle the current uncertainty that exists before they cause irreparable damage to the long term prospects for the sector.”
“This is an industry that is creating jobs and Scotland is the undisputed world leader of this high growth sector.
“It gives me enormous pride to have reached this juncture after 10 years of tireless work, preparation and planning by everyone associated with this project.
“This is the day the tidal power industry announced itself as the most exciting new asset class of renewable, sustainable generation in the UK’s future energy mix.”