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Easter Ross tidal energy project already making waves in Japan could unlock hundreds of jobs with right support; Simec Atlantis MeyGen scheme floated as worthy of UK Government support by Easter Ross councillor

By Scott Maclennan

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AN Easter Ross tidal energy project that could unlock hundreds of high quality jobs needs government support to help it realise its game-changing potential, it has been agreed.

Highland Council will lobby the UK government to back a scheme which has already seen global interest in massive turbines assembled at the Nigg yard in Easter Ross.

Efforts to efficiently harness an endless supply of renewable energy from the sea have already delivered jobs in Easter Ross and the far north through the Simec Atlantis-operated MeyGen, which has also shipped a turbine to Japan.

For MeyGen to produce at scale, the company is seeking changes from the government on the next round of so-called Contracts for Difference auctions, which support low-carbon electricity generation by making investment more attractive and protecting developers from volatile wholesale prices.

That would give companies with world-leading technology an incentive to drive down cost by ramping up production.

Cllr Derek Louden: Massive potential.
Cllr Derek Louden: Massive potential.

Tain and Easter Ross Councillor Derek Louden said its potential for the north could scarcely be underestimated.

“Simec Atlantis has done a great job for the Highlands in keeping the Meygen project moving forwards. It is a project the whole of the Highlands should be proud of and get behind. They've delivered jobs in Easter Ross at Nigg as well as in Caithness."

He says the scheme now needs "a different level of political support" of the type which given to offshore wind in its earlier stages.

He said: "The Highlands should be the go-to place to make this happen. Let's get behind Simec Atlantis and help them deliver a cleaner, brighter future for all of us."

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