The, as yet, under utilised renewable energy source sitting in the world’s oceans – I’m talking about Tidal Power – is about to draw another step closer to being tapped on a large commercial scale.
The latest venture is a demonstration project in the Welsh waters that will be backed by renewable energy developer Eco2, who has just invested £150,000 into Tidal Energy Limited as the company moves to have its DeltaStream technology installed. The finance needed by Tidal Energy Limited, which was formerly known as Tidal Hydraulic Generators, to fund the prototype phase of the 12 month operation, will reach £6 million.
Of this financing Eco2 will provide £1 million which has been matched by the Carbon Connections Development Fund.
The DeltaStream energy device is a Tidal Stream energy device that is distinct from other devices in that it does not require fixing to the sea bed. Each DeltaStream energy device is a 1.2MW capacity generator made up of 3 turbines in a triangular frame. The frame itself is comparitvely light which will enable it to be positioned with a minimum of effort. To prevent the DeltaStream from being shifted by the currents it will require some form of ballasting.
The DeltaStream is completely modular meaning the components can be exchanged should one of the devices require repairing. This makes the DeltaStream energy device considerably cheaper to maintain than comparable tidal systems.
Tidal Energy Limited has plans to begin manufacturing the device later in 2008 with a view to beginning full-scale installation in 2009.
David Williams, chief executive of Eco2, said: “This is an important development as it literally takes renewable power generation out of sight, minimising environmental impact, yet harnessing the largely untapped energy resources of the oceans, far more cost effectively than before. We believe this is the most aesthetic and energy efficient solution yet to meeting EU renewable energy targets.”