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* Britain says tidal array will be biggest in the world
* Array should start delivering electricity in 2016
LONDON, Aug 22 (Reuters) - The British government will help fund a tidal project, calling it the biggest tidal array in the world, in Scotland, which will vote on independence from London in September.
The government said it will provide 10 million pounds ($16.6 million) towards a 51 million pound funding package for the first phase of tidal array scheme in Pentland Firth, northern Scotland, which is being developed by MeyGen Limited.
The rest of the funding for the scheme in Pentland Firth will come from the Scottish Government, The Crown Estate and Atlantis Resources, which owns MeyGen Limited.
Construction on the project is expected to start in the fourth quarter this year and the first power should be supplied to the grid in the first half of 2016.
Once completed, the MeyGen project is expected to deliver up to 400 megawatts of electricity, enough energy to power around 200,000 homes.
The government hopes that renewable energy generation will help replace one fifth of the Britain's ageing coal and gas- fired power plants which are due to be brought off-line by 2020. (Reporting by Nina Chestney, editing by William Hardy)