Utility scale solar hits 75GW

Global solar energy capacity hit 75GW during the opening half of 2016, according to data from Wiki-Solar.

An additional 10GW of capacity was added during the first six months of the year.

Philip Wolfe, the former BP Solar chief executive who runs Wiki Solar, said: “It might look like a tall order to add a further 25GW to reach 100GQ by year-end but I think we still have a fighting chance.”

> See Wiki-Solar's statement

Orkney invites tidal bids

Orkney Islands Council has invited companies to register their interest in developing a tidal project on the Churchill Barriers.

The barriers were built during the Second World War to project the Royal Navy ships in Scapa Flow and are now used as road links between the islands.

The council has posted a pre-qualification notice on the Public Contracts Scotland website, with developers having until 5 October to respond.

> Read the pre-qualification notice

£12m hydro scheme unveiled

German power company RWE has officially unveiled its Cia Aig hydro scheme in Scotland.

The 3MW run-of-river scheme on the Abhainn Chia-aig river – at the eastern end of Loch Arkaig, about 20 miles to the north of Fort William – took 24 months to construct and cost £12 million.

Simon Hamlyn, Chief Executive of the British Hydropower Association, said: “There is now more than 177 MW of small-scale hydropower available in Scotland with approximately 1,700 people working in the sector in Scotland and increasingly many local communities are taking a stake.”

> Read RWE's announcement

AD plant gets £13m in funding

The Green Investment Bank (GIB) and SQN Asset Finance Income Fund have unveiled a £13.2 million investment to finance an anaerobic digestion (AD) plant in Nottinghamshire.

The new facility at Stud Farm in Rufford will use poultry litter, straw, and other agricultural feedstock from neighbouring farms to fuel a combined heat and power (CHP) plant, supplying electricity and heat to local businesses, with any surplus electricity being supplied to the UK grid.

Edward Northam, Head of Investment Banking at the Green Investment Bank, said: “AD is widely recognised as one of the most effective ways of processing organic waste.”

> View the Green Investment Bank's announcement

Pumped storage plans revealed for island

Plans have been unveiled for a £200 million pump-storage hydro-electric scheme on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides.

Under the proposal, the scheme on the Eishken estate would use seawater instead of freshwater.

The scheme could storage enough electricity to power 200,000 homes.

> Find out more about the Eishken Estate