Crown Estate to let new wave and tidal power development sites in Scotland and UK

EMEC seascapeFour new demonstration wave and tidal zones and sites in Scottish waters are set to be developed by the Crown Estate to help further technology development.

For the first time, local organisations will play a role in developing zones – a new policy adopted by the UK seabed manager following a critical investigation of its community involvement process by MPs on the Scottish Select Affairs committee last year.

Six new wave and tidal current demonstration zones, which for the first time will enable locally-based organisations to manage and sub-let parts of the seabed to a range of wave and tidal current developers.

Five new wave and tidal stream sites, each with the potential to deliver a project of between 10 and 30 MW.

The Scottish zones / sites and organisations are:

  • Stronsay Firth site (tidal stream, managed test facility, 20MW), EMEC
  • Mull of Galloway site (tidal stream, 30MW), Siemens MCT
  • Islay zone (tidal stream), EMEC working with the Islay Energy Trust
  • Isle of Harris zone (wave), EMEC working with the West Harris Trust

Rob Hastings, Director of Energy and Infrastructure at the Crown Estate said: “By providing these additional seabed rights we are pleased to be enabling further technology development and commercialisation, which will be critical if the UK is to unlock its significant natural resources for wave and tidal current energy.

“This innovative approach to leasing the seabed sees us responding to market demand and introducing managed demonstration zones to give other organisations the opportunity to lend tangible support in their local areas.”

Scottish Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said, “We welcome this announcement by the Crown Estate to lease two new wave and tidal demonstration zones and two new project sites in Scottish waters.

“These offer opportunities for ambitious developers to prove their marine energy technologies and harness the potential of the oceans around Scotland’s coastline.  This will move the wave and tidal sectors further and faster along the path to commercialisation.

With this leasing process now complete, the next stage is for the demonstration zone managers to start to attract developers for the zones and to undertake further work, such as gathering environmental data that can help developers with the consenting process. 

A spokesman for Scottish Renewables commented: “If we want to see Scotland’s wave and tidal energy potential explored fully, government and Ofgem need to work together to connect projects around Scotland’s islands at a reasonable price and within a practical timescale.”

The locations for the demonstration zones and project sites include three off the coast of England, four off the coast of Scotland, one in Northern Ireland and three off the coast of Wales.


Organisation Location Zone type / project name
Wave Hub North Cornwall Wave demonstration zone
North Devon Tidal stream demonstration zone
South Pembrokeshire Wave demonstration zone
Siemens MCT Dorset Portland Bill, tidal stream project site
Northern Ireland Strangford Lough, tidal stream project site
Scotland Mull of Galloway, tidal stream project site
EMEC Scotland Isle of Harris, wave demonstration zone
Scotland Islay, tidal stream demonstration zone
Scotland Stronsay Firth, tidal stream managed test facility project
Menter Môn Wales West Anglesey, tidal stream demonstration zone
Minesto Wales Holyhead Deep, tidal stream project site



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