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Sark names Airtricity to develop Channel Island's tidal power

Development group Sark Renewable Energy has named Airtricity, a unit of Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) of the United Kingdom, its partner to develop tidal power off Sark, an island off the coast of France with a population of about 600.

Sark Renewable Energy is formed from the same directors as Alderney Renewable Energy, which seeks to develop tidal power off Sark's larger neighbor, Alderney, also in the Channel Islands. (HNN 3/13/07)

Airtricity, originally an Irish wind farm developer acquired by SSE in February (HNN 3/28/08), was chosen under a request for proposals by Sark Renewable Energy. The selection is being presented to the Chief Pleas, Sark's parliament.

The tidal capacity surrounding the 4.8-kilometer-by-2.4-kilometer island is estimated at 500 MW. Airtricity is to organize and finance feasibility studies, environmental impact studies, a demonstration project, and eventual harvest and sale of energy.

Sark Renewable Energy said one reason for choosing Airtricity was for SSE's experience in undersea cable laying. The developer group sees a potential to export power to Alderney, 21 miles north; Guernsey, seven miles west; and France, 14 miles east.

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