This document provides a Non-Technical Summary (NTS) of the Environmental Statement (ES) produced in support of Sea Generation (Kyle Rhea) Limited’s consent application for the Kyle Rhea Tidal Stream Array (‘the Project’). The ES is the formal report of an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) undertaken by impartial environmental consultants Royal Haskoning and subcontracted specialists, to consider the potential impacts during installation, operation and eventual decommissioning of the Project.
In 2011 Sea Generation (Kyle Rhea) Ltd obtained an Agreement for Lease of the seabed within Kyle Rhea from The Crown Estate, subject to obtaining consent from Marine Scotland.
Sea Generation (Kyle Rhea) Ltd
Marine Current Turbines Ltd (MCT), a Siemens business, has established the company Sea Generation (Kyle Rhea) Ltd to develop the Project.
MCT has a proven track record and is at the forefront of developing power systems capable of exploiting clean energy from tidal currents. In 2003 MCT successfully installed and operated ‘SeaFlow’ a 300Kilowatts (kW) single rotor (with 2 rotor blades) experimental test system deployed off the North Devon coast near Lynmouth. In 2008 MCT installed a 1.2Megawatt (MW) twin rotor device, known as ‘SeaGen’ in Strangford Lough, Northern Ireland. SeaGen is the world’s first commercial scale tidal device and has been consistently supplying electricity to the national grid since its installation.
Information on the Strangford Lough tidal device, including the final report from a 3 year Environmental Monitoring Programme (EMP) focussing on marine mammals, benthic ecology and birds can be found at http://www.seageneration.co.uk.
The tidal array development will be located in Kyle Rhea, a narrow sea strait in between the Isle of Skye and the mainland of Scotland. The array of four 2MW SeaGen devices will be located to the south of Kyle Rhea, approximately 150m north of the MV Glenachulish ferry route (see Figure 1). Site investigations have shown this area has the optimum tidal resource. The array will have the capacity to provide 8MW, enough energy to power over 3750 homes.
The Project comprises the following elements:
- 4 twin rotor “SeaGen devices” with an output of up to 2MW per device.
- Inter-array cabling joining the devices in a daisy chain formation.
- One export cable (33 kV cable, directionally drilled underground).
- An onshore substation.
The onshore elements of the Project will be on the Isle of Skye either in the Forestry Commission (FC) land or on an area of flat grass land near Kylerhea village (see Figure 1).
The SeaGen device houses the transformer equipment required to convert the electricity generated, to a voltage that is compatible with the national grid. Therefore the onshore substation will be a switch house, containing the equipment necessary to control and manage the connection of the tidal generators to grid.