The proposed test site is around 2.5km south of the well known St Catherine's Point lighthouse (Photo: Derek Harper)
The UK’s Perpetuus Tidal Energy Centre (PTEC) has applied to the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) and Isle of Wight Council (as Local Planning Authority) for permission to construct and operate a tidal energy demonstration site off St Catherine’s Point to the south of the Isle of Wight. If consent is granted, PTEC say it will be the first of its kind in the world.
The electricity will be generated from tidal currents in the sea south of the Isle of Wight, supplying the Island with clean, renewable energy.
Mark Francis, Project Manager for PTEC said, “We are really excited by this project and the potential it has to benefit not just the Island and its residents, but the UK more widely.
“It will be the first of its kind anywhere in the world, reinforcing the UK’s reputation as world-leaders in the wave and tidal industry.
“We have already undertaken a comprehensive programme of engagement with regulators, the local community and other stakeholders, and will continue to work closely with them as the project progresses. We look forward to working with the MMO and Local Planning Authority during the consent determination process, which is due to end in 2015.”
The total electrical output from the site is expected to be over 50,000 MWh per year.
PTEC’s consenting works, including the environmental impact assessment (EIA), were led by Royal HaskoningDHV, an engineering consultancy firm, due to its track-record of successful EIAs, and its reputation for consent delivery for projects in the marine environment. Royal HaskoningDHV also managed the Front End Engineering Design (FEED) for PTEC’s offshore and onshore works.
If the submission for consent is successful, then construction could start in late 2016.
HIGH LEVEL SUPPORT
In the UK’s House of Commons, In Prime Minister’s Questions on the 7th January Mr Andrew Turner, MP for the Isle of Wight, asked if David Cameron would join him in supporting the PTEC based on the Isle of Wight, will provide the world’s first grid connected tidal array test facility, placing the UK at the forefront of tidal energy technology, protecting existing jobs and creating several hundred new ones.
The Prime Minister confirmed the UK is now the most attractive market in the world for investment in offshore wind and in marine renewables. He stated, “We want to maintain that world leading position. We want to harness the economic benefits and the environmental benefits that brings and we want to see local centres of expertise and from what I can see the Perpetuus Tidal Energy Centre sounds like exactly the sort of exciting initiative that we should be supporting.”
By Jake Frith
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