A new tidal power project in WA's Kimberley region (something which has been on the cards for many years) has received approval from the WA environment minister (taking the lead in the race to develop the first tidal power plant in Australia's north).
The project is being proposed by Tidal Energy Australia (TEA), who also seem to have taken ownership of Lloyd Energy's graphite energy storage technology. The project will be located at Doctor's Creek near Derby. TEA are also proposing a tidal power project for the lower Ord river.
The proposed plant will have a capacity of 40 MW - the main obstacle to it actually being built seems to be a dependency on the negotiation of a contract for the construction of power lines to major towns in the West Kimberley. TEA says the project (the design and costing was completed in 2003) is awaiting “a suitable offtake contract” before it can go ahead. Woodside's proposed Browse LNG project James Price Point was originally considered to be the likely customer, however with that project being shelved the company is hoping one of the local diamond or zinc mines will fill that role.
The cost is being speculated to be in the $250-$300/MWh range – not be much of a discount from diesel. RenewEconomy suggests the project would require the support of funding from ARENA or the CEFC. There are no details on which tidal technology would be favoured.