Shetland installs tidal energy generator

Sep 14, 2002 02:00 AM

One of the world's first tidal energy generators is being installed off the coast of Shetland. The prototype tidal generator was being fitted as part of research to test new forms of renewable energy The 180-ton underwater generator is being installed off the Yell Sound area of Shetland and could be deployed around the UK shoreline if successful.
The £ 1.8 mm Stingray project is being run by The Engineering Business, based in Northumberland and is co-financed by the government. Officials at the Department of Trade and Industry, which gave the company a £ 1.1 mm grant in January, said projects like Stingray should help the government meet promises on the environment.

Under the Kyoto protocol on climate change, the UK government agreed to ensure that 10 % of mains electricity came from renewable sources by 2010. Brian Wilson, the energy minister, said it was in the country's best interests to support research into new forms of renewable energy.
He said: "It is the first major step which will take this potentially huge technology from the laboratory to large-scale power generation. The Stingray project shows that knowledge developed in the oil and gas industry can also be applied to innovative schemes which harness the power of the sea, provide electricity and go a long way to reducing greenhouse gas emissions."

Tidal energy is seen as having advantages over hydroelectric energy or wind farms as generators have little environmental impact, being largely invisible above the waterline and producing no sound. The firm says the pilot programme will prove the reliability and energy output of the equipment while allowing engineers to practise maintaining and controlling the technology.

Source: The Herald - Glasgow
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