Tidal Projects Flowing In Europe  

Posted by Big Gav in ,

Business Green has an article on a planned tidal power development for Wales - Welsh tidal energy trial set for 2010.

Wales has laid down the gauntlet to Scotland and Northern Ireland in the race to develop tidal energy technology. Last week, Cardiff-based Tidal Energy Limited (TEL) announced plans for a 1MW trial installation at the Ramsey Sound in Pembrokeshire, South Wales.

The company hopes its DeltaStream horizontal turbines will be in the water by summer 2010, making them Wales' first signifcant tidal install. TEL says its 12-month test project will use technology that's proven to be grid-compliant, enabling it to connect to the national grid and earn an income from generated power.

"With regard to water depth and tidal flow, both in direction and velocity, the site is perfect for this device," said Chris Williams, development director at TEL. "Our inventor Richard Ayre first started working for Pembrokeshire Coast National Park when he came up with the idea, and back in 2002 he installed a full-size rotor in the Milford Haven estuary, so the history of the device really is based in Pembrokeshire."

TEL is funded by Eco2 and Carbon Connections, and said it chose the Welsh site over Scotland's European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) because of a lack of available testing berths at EMEC.

The horizontal turbines destined for Ramsey Sound will be assembled in Wales from components supplied by two companies in England, but Williams said: " Pembrokshire has the expertise in structural engineering and marine vessels for the installation of the device."

TEL is in discussions with the owners of a floating crane called the Mersey Mammoth for the 2010 installation.

Italy is also about to commence some tidal power experiments, Renewable Energy World reports - Ocean Currents May Bring Italy More Tidal Energy.
Fleets of 50 tidal power plants, each with an installed power of 20 megawatts (MW), anchored far out on the ocean could be used to generate electricity for hydrogen electrolysis, and so supply the world with vast quantities of clean energy in years to come if a pilot project in Italy is successful, scientists say.

A 500-kilowatt (kW) tidal power prototype that could be scaled up for ocean use is set to be tested next August in the Strait of Messina, a stormy stretch of sea separating Italy's mainland from Sicily.

If the trial is successful, an even more powerful tidal power plant could be ready for mass production in about five years time, and installed not just in the seas off Italy but also in the Gulf of Florida and other coastal sites with stronger currents.

Tests so far of the Sea Power tidal device on open sea have been successful, said Werner Ebner from Fri-El Green Power, the company based Italy and developing the Sea Power power plant.

"These tidal power plants are an economical way of producing electricity. The system is comparatively inexpensive to build and also to maintain, not least because it is based on modules, which can also be easily transported," he said.

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