Grid infrastructure must support Tidal Energy projects

6 02 2013

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Ballycastle SDLP Councillor Dónal Cunningham has called on the Department Of Enterprise Trade and Investment to support the two Tidal Energy projects off Torr Head and Fair Head by appropriate investment in the grid infrastructure and by working to allow earlier application for grid connection.

Speaking after the two consortia who have been awarded rights to develop the Tidal Energy projects met with Moyle Council, Councillor Cunningham said “Tidal Energy has vast potential and we can all benefit from its use, a significant portion of our energy needs can be met through the use of tidal energy.”

“We need to see more support and greater ambition from all the relevant Government Departments to make this type of alternative energy a reality.”

Tidal energy is considered a more reliable form of power than wind, largely due to the predictability and ever present nature of tidal forces.

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Greater support needed for Tidal energy projects

23 01 2013

OpenHydro turbine
In advance of a meeting with Tidal Ventures a joint venture between Bord Gáis and its tidal energy partner OpenHydro who are to develop a 100MW tidal energy farm off Torr Head, Co Antrim, Ballycastle SDLP Councillor Dónal Cunningham said “Tidal Energy has vast potential and we can all benefit from its use, a significant portion of our energy needs can be met through the use of tidal energy.”
“We need to see more support and greater ambition from the Assembly to make this type of alternative energy a reality.”
“Tidal energy technology is still in a state of infancy, but researchers believe that the right amount of support from the government will help propel this technology to new heights. If Assembly support was ambitious enough, tidal energy systems would not be a distant future solution, rather one that we could make use of in a few short years. Only a matter of miles from the Antrim coast, the Scottish Government is showing greater ambition and progress with a number of tidal energy sites”
Researchers note that the process of harnessing the power of the ocean remains very expensive, but the potential benefits that could be found through the use tidal energy could significantly offset those costs. Tidal energy is considered a more reliable form of power than wind, largely due to the predictability and ever present nature of tidal forces.





Executive must do more for tidal energy sector

20 12 2012

Islay Underwater-tidal-power-

SDLP Ballycastle SDLP Councillor Dónal Cunningham has cautiously welcomed news that two Scottish tidal energy projects will share almost £32 million of European Commission funding.
Councillor Cunningham has called for the Executive to work to progress similar funding for the two tidal energy projects off Fair Head and Torr Head:

“This is great news for the tidal industry off the West Coast of Scotland, but only a few miles away our projects are in still in their infancy, and we need to work harder to progress these.”

“It’s this kind of financial commitment that the Executive needs to be pursuing in order to harness further private investment. If our neighbours in Scotland develop an infrastructure to support the Tidal energy sector, potential benefits for support industries on the AntrimCoast could be minimised.”





Cunningham: Moyle must make most of renewable energy project

16 12 2011


Ballycastle SDLP Councillor Dónal Cunningham has welcomed the potential which a major offshore tidal renewable energy infrastructure project could present for the local economy and community.
Cllr Cunningham was speaking after an announcement by the Crown Estate that it was putting contracts for renewable energy production in the Rathlin and Torr Head Strategic Area out to tender following the confirmation of market demand.
He said: “Moyle District Council has agreed to my request for early engagement and consultation with the companies successful in the upcoming leasing round for sites in the offshore Moyle areas, and we are keen to ensure that Moyle fully benefits from the project.
“It is important that Council has its act together as we need to achieve a real economic stimulator in terms of jobs and economic input rather than any short term goodwill gesture form these big companies.
“The development of offshore renewable energy provides not only greater energy security and diversity but significant economic and employment and educational benefits