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The Crown Estate looking to invest in wave and tidal energy arrays

The Crown Estate has announced they are considering investing in the UK’s first wave and tidal stream array projects, in support of their strategy to encourage growth of the emerging industry.

This follows a report last year which found there is potential for tens of gigawatts of wave and tidal projects around the UK.

They are considering investing up to £20m in total in two wave and/or tidal stream projects, alongside other companies and in parallel with grant support from government. The investment will be in the construction of the projects, with each project involving multiple generation devices arranged in an array and with a total installed capacity of 3 megawatts or greater. To be eligible for investment, the projects must already have a Crown Estate agreement for lease, have or soon obtain statutory consents and grid connection agreements and realistically be expected to reach final decisions for capital investment by March 2014.

Several wave and tidal stream technologies are now proven and it is timely for the industry to move on to demonstration projects. First arrays are important because they are on the critical path to larger schemes around the UK and worldwide. By bringing our capital and expertise to bear, we hope to catalyse investments by others and to see projects proceed to construction and operation as soon as possible.

Rob Hastings, Director of the Energy and Infrastructure Portfolio