Multi-technology tidal array demo facility
Perpetuus Energy and the Isle of Wight Council have signed a joint venture to develop a world leading tidal array demonstration site and development centre in the UK.
Subject to achieving consents, it will be built in 2015/2016 and, when fully operational, tidal stream turbines will be installed in the fast moving tidal currents to the south of the Isle of Wight to generate electricity.
Mark Francis, project manager for the Perpetuus Tidal Energy Centre (PTEC) said: “The aim of PTEC is to make clean renewable energy for the Isle of Wight and support the development of the tidal sector by facilitating the commercialisation of tidal technologies. This project will pave the way for future tidal stream electricity generation.”
According to The Carbon Trust, the global market for marine renewables could be worth £340bn (in 2050), of which the UK’s share could reach £76bn. It is estimated that the UK’s territorial waters contain around 15% of the world’s 29 TWh (terawatt-hours) of economically accessible tidal resource. By the end of 2013, the total grid connected installed capacity for tidal stream energy within the UK was estimated at only 4.7MW.
The facility, capable of generating up to 30MW, will house a range of tidal stream turbines with technology readiness levels of between six and nine (prototype demonstrator to commercial prototype). This will enable the developers to rapidly progress to full commercialisation.
A Crown Estate ‘Agreement for Lease’ was secured in November 2012 and the project is currently in the development and consenting phase. The environmental impact assessment and Front End Engineering Design studies are underway, led by Royal HaskoningDHV and IT Power respectively. As two of the leading offshore renewable energy consultancies, Royal HaskoningDHV and IT Power have been closely involved with the development of ground breaking marine energy projects for over ten years.
This month a public exhibition will be held to give members of the public an opportunity to meet the project team, ask questions and offer their views on the proposals.
Councillor Ian Stephens, the leader of the Isle of Wight Council said: “This is an important and exciting project, which has the potential to put the Isle of Wight at the forefront of tidal energy development in the UK. The Island has some first class advanced engineering companies in the marine and maritime sectors that I am sure will want to take every advantage of the opportunities offered by PTEC.”
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