New Zealand to host tidal device testing  

Posted by Big Gav in , ,

Tidal Power Today has a look at the slow steps towards harnessing tidal power in New Zealand - New Zealand to host tidal device testing.

It may seem one of the world’s most suitable locations for building a tidal power industry, but New Zealand looks like it also has a promising future as one of the world’s first major customers. An example of this is Crest Energy, a tidal company which in 2011 won planning permission for up to 200 MW at Kaipara harbour in the North Western peninsula of New Zealand’s North Island, which is taking a different course and will not be testing its own devices there.

Crest Energy, whose proposed project may well be the largest planned on the planet, has no tidal power prototypes of its own. Anthony Hopkins, managing director, says it will instead act as a developer, hosting companies with their own turbines and associated kit to produce electricity. ...

The company does have significant support from a major shareholder, the privately owned energy producer Todd Energy. Among the technology developers interested in New Zealand, perhaps not surprisingly, are the British, who could use various locations for product development and testing. A delegation from the UK arriving in April plans to consider such issues.

“I’m sure that some of the UK groups coming down will want to collaborate with New Zealand groups to develop and adapt prototypes to New Zealand conditions...the purpose of the mission is to link companies at the research and development level, where the research and development is advanced to a near-commercial level that can be exploited within a reasonable time-frame. ...

Other locally grown tidal companies are interested in developing their own projects or technology. These include Energy Pacifica, which has proposed a 30 MW project in the Tory Channel off the South Island, and Parnell Community Leisure Centre, which wants to power some community baths. Neptune Power is another company that wants to install tidal turbines in the Cook Straits (between the North and South island).

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