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Scottish tidal park with potential to power 18,000 homes gets approval

Reinhard Dirscherl | WaterFrame | Getty Images

A 30 turbine tidal park off the coast of a Scottish island has been granted planning consent, the Scottish government has announced.

The West Islay Tidal Energy Park will be located around six kilometers off the south-west coast of Islay, the government said in a statement on Wednesday.

It will generate as many as 32 jobs and have a capacity of up to 30 megawatts, enough to power roughly 18,000 homes.

"Marine renewable technologies offer huge potential to the Scottish economy – and to rural communities throughout the world," Paul Wheelhouse, the Scottish Government minister for business, innovation and energy, said.

"Scotland has a third of UK's tidal stream resources and two thirds of its wave resources," Wheelhouse added. "We are also home to the world's leading wave and tidal test centre, the world's largest planned tidal stream array and the world's largest tidal turbine."

The news was welcomed by environmental groups. "Scotland's growing tidal industry is hitting new milestones," Gina Hanrahan, WWF Scotland's acting head of policy, said in a statement.

"With a third of Europe's tidal potential, Scotland's powerful seas have a significant contribution to make in the fight against climate change," she added. "The renewable energy transition is happening globally at a pace many thought impossible only a few years ago."