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Scotland to map ocean energy potential of Pentland Firth, Orkney

The Scottish Government has commissioned a Marine Spatial Plan to map the renewable energy potential of Scotland's Pentland Firth and Orkney Waters.

�The Marine Spatial Plan will set out opportunities for our main marine energy resource area and act as a planning tool for developers, regulators, and existing users of our marine environment,� Cabinet Secretary for the Environment Richard Lochhead said January 28. �This will help us reach balanced decisions on the locational opportunities for new development, while respecting the environment and the other activities, such as fishing and shipping.�

Lochhead said the Scottish Government would propose a Marine Bill in early 2009 to ensure sustainable seas around Scotland. He said the Marine Spatial Plan would be a key part of management of Pentland Firth and waters around the Orkney Islands.

The United Kingdom's Crown Estate took applications for pre-qualification in December from wave and tidal power developers aimed at developing 700 MW of ocean generation in Pentland Firth by 2020. (HNN 11/26/08)

The Orkney Islands are the location of the European Marine Energy Center (EMEC), which formally opened in September 2007 with government permission for Scottish Power to develop a 3-MW test wave farm. (HNN 10/1/07) In 2007, Scotland awarded 13 million pounds (US$25.4 million) to developers of marine projects, most to be deployed in the Orkneys. (HNN 1/13/09)

A draft planning framework, to be available by April, is to develop into an initial marine plan through extensive consultation over 12 months.

Tidal developer sees Pentland Firth powering Internet center

Singapore-based tidal power company Atlantis Resources Corp. and Internet data center developer Internet Villages International Ltd. (IVI) have formed a strategic alliance to develop tidal-powered data centers at Pentland Firth in northern Scotland and in Dumfries and Galloway council area in southern Scotland.

IVI said January 22 that combining its renewable energy data farms with Atlantis' Nereus and Solon tidal current turbines would create considerable �green� opportunities for information technology companies.

�Bringing the data center industry to the shores of the Pentland Firth will provide Atlantis with grid connection for 30 MW of Nereus, Solon, and third-party tidal current turbines,� Atlantis Business Development Head James Mitchell said. �In bringing together Scotland's two most compelling data center projects, Atlantis Blue Datacentre and IVI's Alba 1 offer a unique combination of services to the data center market under a single banner.�

Mitchell said the alliance will allow Atlantis to concentrate on delivering the tidal current power infrastructure while IVI delivers customers for both data farms.

Atlantis recently acquired the Blue Datacentre project from Morgan Stanley as part of its acquisition of Current Resources Ltd., a tidal developer with a global project pipeline of more than 800 MW. (HNN 9/15/08)

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