In September 2009 The Crown Estate announced the first marine energy leasing round in the UK for the Pentland Firth and Orkney Waters Strategic Area. This established a competitive process for lease applications which PWP entered into. In March 2010, the Crown Estate announced that a series of ‘Agreements for Lease1 ’ (AFLs) had been awarded to wave and tidal developers. The leases were awarded to nine companies, covering eleven sites, to develop up to 1.6 GW of marine energy.
Pelamis Wave Power (PWP) was successful in securing an AFL for the phased development of a wave energy project off Farr Point on the north coast of Sutherland. Phase 1 of the Farr Point Wave Farm project could connect up to 15MW of capacity by 2014 and constitute an early major milestone for the marine energy sector. Achieving such a timescale would place the UK, Scotland and Sutherland at the forefront of this emerging global industry.
PWP is aiming for this to be the first phase of a larger project, which will see the installation of up to 50MW capacity by 2020. This is the maximum amount covered by the existing AfL. However, such future phases, beyond the initial 15MW will be subject to separate planning applications, as and when required and are not included within this Scoping Report.
This Scoping Report has been produced to provide an overview of the technology and proposals to develop Phase 1 at Farr Point. This document also provides an initial high-level screening of the potential key impacts and opportunities likely to be associated with the development along with proposed methods for assessing these impacts and opportunities. The regulatory context is outlined along with PWP’s proposed Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) method and community and stakeholder engagement and communication strategy. A Preliminary Hazard Analysis (PHA) is also presented which will inform the structure and scope of the project Navigational Risk Assessment (NRA) which will be undertaken in parallel with the wider EIA work (refer to Appendix I). Additionally, a preliminary screening of the potential effects upon Natura Interests is included (refer to Appendix II) which will be developed throughout the EIA process. This Scoping Report has been informed by the responses received following the issue of an initial Project Description Document2 to key stakeholders along with a series of preliminary stakeholder meetings (refer to Appendix III).