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Bids sought for Pentland Firth tidal energy site

31 March 10 09:37 GMT

Bids are being sought for a power project in what the Crown Estate said was one of the "most energetic" tidal areas of the Pentland Firth.

The Inner Sound lies between the Caithness coast and island of Stroma.

Ten sites on the seabed off Orkney and in the Pentland Firth have already been leased out to companies for wave and tidal energy projects.

A preferred bidder was selected for the Inner Sound but the developer later pulled out, the Crown Estate said.

'Great potential'

In the first project of its kind in the world, areas in the Pentland Firth and around Orkney were leased to seven companies earlier this month.

The companies are to push forward plans to generate enough electricity to supply 750,000 homes by 2020 from a range of wave and tidal devices.

The Crown Estate owns most of the seabed around the UK.

Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) said it welcomed the speed with which the tendering process for the Inner Sound was reopened.

Audrey MacIver, joint head of energy at HIE, said: "These waters have great potential for energy generation and we look forward to working with the successful bidder to support their success and to maximise the economic benefit their development will bring to the region."

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