GSK pursues marine turbine plan

glaxosmithkline (GSK) has taken the next step towards generating its own marine energy for its local factory as part of its carbon reduction programme.

The company has this week applied to the Scottish Government for a marine generation licence to generate power from 15 tidal turbines placed either side of the South Esk bridge

In December the company beat three other bidders to win a tidal energy contract from the Crown Estate, which owns the majority of the seabed within the 12-nautical mile limit of UK territorial waters.

It was part of a tendering process begun last April and effectively gives GSK permission to lease part of the riverbed for the project.

A GSK spokesman said there are several steps in the process before the marine element of the company’s scheme could go ahead and, if the marine generation licence is granted, a further application will have to be made to Angus Council.

He said: “Once the public notice appears there are 42 days during which anyone interested can make comments.

“It’s just part of the process in which the site is seeking a licence to have access to that area around the bridge and we’ll see what happens at the end of the 42 day period. This is not to get access to put turbines on the river bed, just to obtain a marine generation licence.”

As well as the marine turbines, the project includes the installation of an onshore sub-station to relay electricity to the Cobden Street site.

The application has been submitted to Marine Scotland, the Scottish Government agency which last year took over the new marine licensing system for activities carried out in the Scottish inshore region of UK waters, within 12 nautical miles of the shore.

The scheme is separate from GSK’s plans to build two 426-feet high wind turbines at its factory although both elements would form part of GSK’s wider carbon reduction plan and complement energy efficiency promoted and implemented on site and in the manufacturing process.