In November 2008, The Crown Estate opened up the Pentland Firth and Orkney Waters Leasing Round (PFOW) to marine energy developers by inviting bids for exclusive site development rights. On the 16th March 2010, The Crown Estate awarded an Agreement for Lease (AfL) for a tidal energy array up to 200MW in capacity, located off the south coast of South Walls, to Cantick Head Tidal Development Ltd (CHTDL), a joint venture between OpenHydro Site Development Ltd (OpenHydro) and SSE Renewables (Holdings) UK Ltd (SSER).
In 2013 a revision was made to the boundary of the AfL area, whereby 80% of the original AfL area was relocated to the west, with the remaining 20% overlapping with the original site. As a result of this boundary change and in order to ensure a name relevant to the Project location, the site name has been revised from Cantick Head Tidal Development to Brims Tidal Array, with the joint venture partnership now called Brims Tidal Array Limited (BTAL).
The Project consists of the following:
- Offshore tidal generators;
- Inter-array cables;
- Potential for offshore hub(s) or substation;
- Export cable to shore (Hoy or South Walls); and
- Onshore cabling up to onshore substation.
Full details of these elements are described within this Scoping Report. The consent application will not include the onshore substation or connection to the grid, which is the responsibility of SHE-T and will be subject to its own application. Therefore, there is no request for scoping opinion on the onshore substation as part of this report.
This Scoping Report is designed to support the application for both phases of the 200MW Project with the applications submitted in two phases. Phase I consists of up to 60MW with construction expected to begin in 2019. Phase II will be subject to a separate application process, with planned delivery of the fully commissioned 200MW Project in 2023. This phasing will allow BTAL to gain experience of deploying devices in an array of reasonable scale and then evaluating its performance, both technically and environmentally before completing the full build-out.