-> 2008 -> Sound of Islay Tidal Power Research

Wednesday, 26/Nov/2008

Sound of Islay Tidal Power Research

Picture of a view down a sound between two islands

When I first spotted two related Islay videos on YouTube yesterday I thought they were related to the Scottish Power tidal power project in the Sound of Islay. Having looked at this in a bit more detail I'm not so sure any more. Instead I think they are linked to a more general tidal power generation research project, where some of the project and research just happens to take place on Islay.

The first video is of the deployment of a tidal turbine in the Sound of Islay:

The videos come from the Equimar project, which as far as I understand has the goal to determine the best methods to evaluate and compare different marine power generation technologies (i.e. tidal or wave energy). According to the EquiMar project wiki it is a Europe wide collaborative 3-year project with 23 partners coordinated by the University of Edinburgh's team.

The second video shows the sea bed in the Sound of Islay:

At first glance this doesn't look too exciting, but if you read some of the background its significance becomes clearer:

Contrary to belief this shows that the tidal currents do not necessarily create a barn, scoured sea bed environment with little marine life. Therefore, the types of foundations/ support mechanisms used to locate the tidal or wave energy converter could have an impact on the seabed ecology.

This could potentially be quite significant, as it could influence decisions about these systems and how expensive they will or won't be. Quite possibly even if they are built in the first place.

In any case, I haven't been able to find more information online about the trials in the Sound of Islay. If you have any further information or links please leave them in the comments:

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