£2m REIF injection for Scottish wave and tidal project

Scotland’s emerging wave and tidal sector has received an injection of £2 million after an ambitious project was awarded funding from the Renewable Energy Investment Fund, (REIF).

Scottish Energy Minister, Fergus Ewing announced the investment deal, along with details of five further awards totalling an additional £2.8 million from the Marine Renewables Commercialisation Fund (MRCF), at RenewableUKWave and Tidal conference in Belfast today, 26 February 2014.

International tidal power company Atlantis Resources Corporation (Atlantis) has secured a £2 million pound investment deal to help establish a global engineering and project management hub in Scotland.

Energy minister Fergus Ewing said:“Scotland is at the forefront of developing offshore and low carbon energy generation technology with some of the world’s greatest wind, wave and tidal resources heavily concentrated in the waters around our country.

“Today’s allocation of almost £5 million in MRCF and REIF funding highlights our commitment to supporting the growth of the marine energy sector in Scotland.

“Our ambition for Scotland’s emerging wave and tidal sector remains great. We know that the successful harnessing of ocean power takes hard work and persistence and the Scottish Government is determined to support those within the industry.

“The funding announced today will help facilitate some of the country’s most innovative and exciting marine energy projects and I am delighted we are able to assist these companies.”

The initial £500,000 loan to Atlantis has already completed as part of the £2m package.

The Atlantis hub, which will become the company’s global centre of excellence, will be based in Edinburgh and is expected to create 20 new high value jobs once fully operational.

Atlantis is involved in a number of high profile tidal projects, including the MeyGen project, Europe’s largest and most high profile marine power project which will deliver 398MW when fully complete. The project will use the company’s new AR1500 1.5MW tidal stream turbine and it will install a tidal array in stages in the Pentland Firth, between Orkney and the Scottish mainland until 2020

Commenting, Atlantis CEO Tim Cornelius said: “This £2m of investment is clearly a serious vote in confidence in Atlantis’s plans as a tidal energy developer and our plans to deliver Scotland’s first major tidal energy project in the Pentland Firth.

“However, its benefits won’t stop there. It will not only create Scottish jobs here today but also help create new foreign markets to export Scottish skills to tomorrow, putting Scotland at the forefront of the fast-growing global tidal energy sector.”

Andrew Smith, head of the Scottish Investment Bank’s REIF said:“Supporting development of Scotland’s marine energy sector is a key priority area for Scottish Enterprise and that’s why through our range of investment funds, including REIF, we continue to invest in Scotland’s most ambitious and exciting marine energy projects. Atlantis represents the cutting edge of this new emerging industry and we are pleased to be able to invest to support development, test and demonstration of exciting new technologies in Scottish waters.”

Scotland’s wave and tidal sector is estimated be worth up to £1 billion to the Scottish economy by 2020. More than 25 wave and tidal energy device companies are currently actively developing, testing and demonstrating devices in Scottish waters – more than anywhere else in the world.

  • Initiatives benefiting from the MRCF funding include:

    Construction firm McLauglin & Harvey, along with SeaRoc and Nautricity to fund the foundation system which will be used for Nautricity’s 500 kilowatt turbine off the Mull of Kintyre.

    The European Marine Energy Centre to design and build a seabed monitoring pod.

    Marine energy company Green Theme to develop a cable-mounted device called ‘CableFish’ that includes a camera and GPS to helps with cable installation in fast flowing conditions.

    Marine data experts Partrac, along with partners, to carry out surveys at two Scottish sites to understand turbulence in tidal flows.

    Design and engineering company Tension Technology International and partners to design a novel mooring system that can be used for wave and tidal arrays
  • The Scottish Investment Bank is the investment arm of Scottish Enterprise, operating Scotland-wide in partnership with Highlands and Islands Enterprise. It manages a suite of funds including the Scottish Co-investment Fund and the Scottish Venture Fund, which are partly funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF); the Scottish Seed Fund, the Scottish Recycling Fund and the Renewable Energy Investment Fund. SIB is also the cornerstone investor in the privately-managed Scottish Loan Fund and an investor in Epidarex Capital’s life sciences fund. These support Scotland’s SME funding market to ensure businesses with growth and export potential have adequate access to capital. SIB also provides a team of financial readiness specialists to help companies prepare for new investment and more easily access finance.
  • The Renewable Energy Investment Fund was launched in October 2012. Its aim is to promote the use of energy from specific renewable sources and drive further investment into key areas of Scotland’s renewables industry. With £103 million of ring fenced funding available to provide commercially priced loans, equity investments and guarantees, REIF will consider projects that support the delivery of energy from a renewable source or represent an innovative renewable energy technology. Areas of anticipated demand for REIF include projects that will: accelerate the growth of the marine renewable energy sector in Scotland, increase community ownership of renewable energy projects in Scotland or support district heating networks that utilise renewable heat technologies. The underlying goal of REIF is to grow the renewables industry in Scotland and all projects will demonstrate potential economic benefits. REIF is delivered by the Scottish Investment Bank – the investment arm of Scottish Enterprise – on behalf of the Scottish Government and its Enterprise Agencies.