Scotland Offers $15 Million for Viable Wave or Tidal Technologies
December 3, 2008
The Scottish Government announced details on December 2 about the Saltire Prize, a $15 million technology prize that will be awarded to the team that successfully demonstrates the best commercially viable wave or tidal energy technology capable of powering thousands of homes. The technology must be demonstrated in Scottish waters and must achieve a minimum electrical output of 100 million kilowatt-hours over a continuous two-year period, using only the power of the sea. That electrical output is equivalent to the continuous production of 5.7 megawatts of power, so the winning demonstration system must have a capacity significantly larger than that to account for times when the system produces power at less than its full capacity. If more than one technology meets the minimum criteria, the prize purse of 10 million pounds will be awarded to the best overall technology, based on the technology's cost, environmental sustainability, and safety.
In September, OpenHydro was the first tidal energy company to install its prototype technology at the European Marine Energy Centre in Orkney, Scotland.
The Scottish Government first announced its plans for the Saltire Prize in April and promised to release details before the end of the year. Scotland's total wave and tidal energy resource is estimated to be double the country's current electrical generating capacity, and the Scottish Government believes that wave and tidal energy and other renewable energy resources could provide half of Scotland's electricity by 2020. Scotland is also host to the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC), a unique ocean-based facility for the full-scale testing of wave and tidal energy prototypes. Companies interested in competing for the prize can register online and can consult with the Saltire Prize Challenge Committee from January through March 2009. Teams can officially enter the competition starting in summer, and the competition will remain open to entries until June 2013. See the Scottish Government press release and Saltire Prize Web page, as well as the EMEC Web site.