Florida Gulf Stream Tidal Energy Potential Studied

A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed between Swedish ocean and tidal current technology developer Minesto and Florida Atlantic University (FAU) to study the technical, environmental and economic feasibility of its technology in Florida.

This study will involve the construction of demonstration plants for commercial use in Florida. The fact that FAU is the home of the Southwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center (SNMREC) was partially the reason why it was chosen for the project.

The technology that is used by Minesto is a tidal and ocean power plant called Deep Green and when it is deployed it gives the appearance of an underwater kite. Deep Green can generate electricity from low velocity currents, something of a breakthrough in marine energy.

Deep Green Tidal Device

SNMREC is a federally-designated US research and testing center that has been created to accelerate the commercial realization of marine energy recovery. It’s primary area of focus is the Gulf Stream. It is a benefit to the partnership through the experience in resource modelling, marine measurements, environmental assessments and regulatory framework that has been undertaken.

According to the US Department of Energy the Gulf Stream can supply nearly 30% of the power consumption in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida, which is up to 163TWh electricity.

Deep Green is already undergoing long-term ocean trials in Strangford Lough, Ireland. It produces electricity by a unique principle in which it describes a figure of eight pattern. When moving through this pattern it is able to reach speeds ten times the speed of the water current. It is this action that enables the device to generate electricty in low speed currents.

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