Highlands & Islands

Tidal power device for Skye a 'world-first'

Pulse Tidal device
Image caption The system sits fully submerged on the seabed

A tidal energy device dubbed by its manufacturer as a world-first is to be installed in the fast-flowing Kylerhea Narrows off Skye.

Sheffield-based Pulse Tidal said the system was the first of its kind and could operate in shallow water.

The site in the narrows was selected because of the strong tide and sheltered location.

Horizontal blades on Pulse's system are moved up and down by the tide to drive a generator.

The device sits on the seabed, fully submerged and would not be visible on the surface of the sea.

Pulse has started a year-long environmental study ahead of an application to Marine Scotland, which is part of the Scottish government, for a licence to start producing electricity commercially in 2012.

The Kylerhea Narrows is the shortest distance from Skye to the mainland at a distance of about 550m.

A community-owned ferry crosses the stretch of water from Glenelg on the mainland to Kylerhea on Skye.

In the past, cattle drovers swam across the narrows with their black Highland cattle on their way to cattle fairs in lowland Scotland.

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