Between the islands of Yell and Unst, the two most northerly inhabited islands in the UK, the development includes a 30kW unit with horizontal axis and three-bladed rotor, and is being deployed in early 2013 to provide power to a local ice-house and industrial estate.

According to Siemens, the local community will reap the benefits of the project by safeguarding jobs and providing valuable income.

The turbine was designed by Nova Innovation, a tidal solutions company, and is currently under construction, while the generating unit, supplied by Siemens, will increase predicted revenue by up to 40%.

Scotland is proving a leader in the emerging marine energy sector and tidal power is expected to see substantial growth over the next few decades.

General manager at Siemens Mechanical Drives, Simon Nadin said: “Tidal technology is developing fast and the UK leads the world in this sector, which has significant potential for greening the UK economy.”

In November, three organisations secured the rights to develop tidal energy projects at sites spread around the UK.

Minesto’s trial device at Stangford Lough in Northern Ireland, Scotrenewables Tidal Power array at Lashy Sound in the Orkney Islands and the Solent Energy Centre on the Isle of Wight, were all granted new leases by the Crown Estate.

Leigh Stringer

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