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Supporting a pioneering marine renewable energy project for the Isles of Scilly  

Marine-i has agreed to support a year-long research programme to identify the potential for wave, tidal and floating wind technologies to be deployed around the Isles of Scilly. It is expected that this will lead to long-term economic, societal and environmental benefits for the communities living on the islands.

The project will build a new databank of wave and tidal resource data from around the Isles of Scilly, including data sets on wind speed, wave height, wave period, tidal stream velocities and tidal range parameters. This comprehensive databank will enable the Isles of Scilly to engage with technology developers to scope new renewable energy projects for the Isles of Scilly.

The Project Partners

This new initiative is being led by three businesses: 

  • Isles of Scilly Community Venture, a not-for-profit company focused on developing projects that will help Scilly become fit for the future – self-sufficient, resilient and low carbon. At its core it aims to share the benefits of these projects with the residents and businesses that make up the local community. 
  • Waves4Power AB, a Swedish renewable energy developer that delivers green energy solutions by generating affordable electric power from ocean waves.
  • Planet A Energy, who work exclusively to alleviate the climate emergency in the interests of the Global Community. Planet A is a social enterprise and 50% of their profits are invested back into schemes that help protect against climate change.

The Opportunity

Jim Wrigley of Isles of Scilly Community Venture says: “Being located nearly 30 miles off the south west coast of England, marine power is a natural choice for us and could make Scilly self-sufficient in energy. However, an obstacle to this is that the key data that developers need to assess its viability does not currently exist in the level of detail required. We are delighted that Marine-i has agreed to assist us in creating this new databank, which could be the key that unlocks some really exciting green energy solutions for Scilly.”

The project has the potential to open up the Isles of Scilly to wave and tidal power generation companies, and to generate growth associated with those technologies, such as infrastructure, eco-tourism and reduction of fuel costs. This project would demonstrate the viability of integrating marine technology into the isolated community energy mix, which would put the region in a positive place to demonstrate capability and delivery of such important projects. It contributes to the net zero strategy of the UK and Cornwall, as well as the Isles of Scilly Energy targets, as set out in the Islands Futures Priorities. The development of marine energy resources is also strongly supported in the Cornwall Industrial strategy.

World class research

Through its engagement with Marine-i, the consortium has gained access to leading research expertise at Marine-i partners, University of Exeter, University of Plymouth and the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult. 

Neil Farrington of ORE Catapult says: “The new data repository will be used to underpin key decisions about marine renewable energy development on the islands, which could comprise locally-owned projects as well as commercial enterprises. It could be the springboard for a new era of green energy on the Isles of Scilly.”

A role model for island communities

Prof Lars Johanning, Programme Director for Marine-i adds: “This is a great example of the public sector, private enterprise and academia coming together to enable new developments to take place that will benefit the local community. This innovative databank will be a vital resource for developers and their stakeholders,  helping them to assess the viability of marine renewable energy for the islands. This could be an important step in helping Scilly achieve its vision of a sustainable, net-zero carbon future. We hope that the project’s research approach will become a role-model that will be adopted internationally. This would accelerate the rate at which other island communities could reap the benefits of marine energy, while also helping in the global battle against climate change.”

[Image: Annie Spratt on Unsplash]