RD Marine could face legal action over Capricorn trials

Capricorn 5 on trials (Photo: RD Marine)
Capricorn 5 on trials (Photo: RD Marine)

Renewable Devices Marine (RD Marine) is facing potential legal action from the Crown Estate following the conclusion of trials of its Capricorn tidal turbine technology.

RD Marine deployed its Capricorn 5 tidal turbine at the Forth river estuary last week to conduct first ever sea trials on the technology.

Following the conclusion of the trials, which, according to RD Marine’s Director, David Anderson, went ‘significantly better than expected’, the company is facing potential legal threats from the manager of the UK seabed, the Crown Estate, over the alleged breach of boundaries by the RD Marine, according to the Courier.

Namely, the Crown Estate has asked RD Marine to pay a fee of £79,000, the Courier reports.

“They tried to block the launch and are threatening to take legal action against us. They claimed they own a tiny bit of land under the end of the pier and are accusing us of going over the boundary by six inches. How can they promote the idea that they help the marine renewable industry in Scotland, while charging fees and blocking progress,” Anderson was quoted as saying by the Courier.

RD Marine, a Roslin-based small technology development company, has designed two variants of Capricorn marine turbine – Capricorn 5, with the capacity of 50 kW, and larger variant, Capricorn 125, with the capacity of 1.25 MW.

Anderson said for Tidal Energy Today that the company had no intentions of using the established test centres to trial their technology naming high prices as the main reason.

“We prefer to run the business more commercially and believe that a year or two of expensive testing is less valuable than simply deploying a turbine and letting the customers and the market decide which is the best technology,” Anderson said.

According to the Courier, the Crown Estate said RD Marine failed to comply with its request to provide information about the Capricon tidal technology, and asked the company to do so if they plan to use Crown Estate-owned areas.

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