DP acquires Westray South tidal

Irish start-up DP Energy is on track to become the largest independent tidal power developer in Europe, following its takeover of utility SSE’s 200MW Westray South project in the Orkney islands off northern Scotland.

The Cork-based outfit aims to hand in a consent application for the development to the UK Crown Estate by the end of the year for a £200m ($331m) pilot phase at the site, which  neighbours the European Marine Energy Centre.

The acquisition of Westray South enlarges DP Energy’s portfolio of tidal power projects to 330MW.

“This is a very significant development for DP Energy and is a further expression of our confidence in tidal energy generation as a key component in the portfolio of reliable, predictable and emissions free power sources needed to take us into a more self-sustainable future,” says DP Energy managing director Simon De Pietro, who started the company as an “early stage” wind developer.

“The approach we take is technology neutral, and based on the fact that the site and project comes first and that technology is simply a means of achieving cost competitiveness and driving down the cost of energy.”

DP Energy plans to partner on a project-specific basis with tidal turbine makers with “demonstrated and competent technologies”.

Phase one of the Westray South project, expected to represent a capacity of 60MW, enough electricity to power 40,000 homes, could be online “by 2016-2017”, a DP spokesperson tells Recharge.