Kyle Rhea Tidal Energy Project: Marine Current Turbines meets the Highland Council's leader

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Inverness: Martin Wright, Chief Executive of Marine Current Turbines Ltd, today (Tuesday, April 12th) met with Dr Michael Foxley, the Leader of The Highland Council's Administration and senior officers of the Council to discuss the company's proposed tidal energy farm at Kyle Rhea, the strait of water between the Isle of Skye and the Scottish mainland.

The meeting took place following Marine Current Turbines' (MCT) recent announcement (April 1st) of it securing an Agreement for Lease from The Crown Estate which gives the company access to the seabed and enables it to take the project through the consents and planning application process with Marine Scotland.

After today's meeting, The Highland Council's Dr Michael Foxley said: 'I have been greatly assured by MCT's commitment to work closely with The Highland Council and the local community interests to ensure that this project is sensitively developed to ensure it will bring tangible economic benefit to the Isle of Skye and the wider region. Today's meeting was hugely helpful and we look forward to working with MCT in seriously exploring the potential for community investment in the Kyle Rhea scheme. 'The Highland Council recognises the potential economic and environmental benefits of tidal energy for the Highlands and we appreciate that tidal is in the early stage of development. We see the Kyle Rhea scheme as a stepping stone towards a larger tidal energy industry that can create a new industry for the Highlands economy as well as being a low carbon source of renewable energy Martin Wright of Marine Current Turbines said: 'We are wholly committed to working with The Highland Council and the wider community on bringing the project to fruition. Tidal energy offers so much to the Highlands and we will draw on the experience of our first tidal scheme in Northern Ireland's Strangford Lough to ensure that every aspect, environmental, social and economic, is carefully considered. We appreciated the positive response shown towards our plans from Dr Foxley and his colleagues at today's meeting.'

MCT had previously consulted a range of local and national organisations including The Highland Council, Marine Scotland, the Maritime & Coastguard Agency, the Northern Lighthouse Board, the RSPB, the Glenelg and Arnisdale Development Trust and the RNLI based at Kyle of Lochalsh. Further meetings, presentations and exhibitions will be held to ensure that the community is fully appraised of the project and its impact in advance of a planning application being submitted to Marine Scotland early next year.

After submission, the application will be open for further public scrutiny and consultation before a decision is reached by Marine Scotland. The £40million project, the first tidal farm planned for Kyle Rhea, is likely to have a maximum power of 8MW and have the capacity to generate electricity for up to 8,000 homes. Subject to planning consent and financing, MCT is aiming to deploy the 4 turbine Kyle Rhea tidal farm by 2014.

For further information: Marine Current Turbines
(www.marineturbines.com)
Paul Taylor/Bethan Halls: 020 3170 8465 / paul@taylorkeogh.com
or
The Highland Council Gordon Fyfe,
PR Manager: 01463 702020 / gordon.fyfe@highland.gov.uk

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