RusHydro, Atlantis link for MRE

Russian hydroelectric conglomerate RusHydro has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with London-headquartered tidal power developer Atlantis Resource to cooperate on marine renewable energy projects off western Australia.

Being operated through the state-owned utility’s JSC Lenhydroproject subsidiary, the MoU will focus on construction of developments using tidal-range orthogonal turbines – a technology hatched by the Russian companies.

The pair have already started water and energy calculations at a number of sites, to identify capacity and annual output, with funding applications set to go in this year to Australia’s Clean Energy Finance Corporation.

“Our cooperation with Atlantis is an important step in promoting worldwide innovative technologies developed by RusHydro such as our orthogonal turbine,” says RusHydro deputy chairman Vladimir Pekhtin.

“The world’s interest in tidal energy is increasing every year, as well as the need for advanced technical solutions allowing tidal power to compete in the energy market. We have been enhancing and working through a unique orthogonal turbine technology for several years and we are confident that it is ripe for commercial use.”

According to the Australian government’s geosciences department, locations off its western coast have average tidal power in water depths down to 50 metres of greater than 6.1kW/sq-metre, enough to power up to six homes for every square metre of resource harnessed.

Last month, China's Dongfang Electrical Machinery inked a collaborative deal with Atlantis for technology trials of the latter’s 1MW AR1000 turbine, with plans for an offshore demonstration project in Zhejiang Province being run by the China Energy Conservation and Environmental Protection Group.

Atlantis chief executive Tim Cornelius states: “This MoU [with RusHydro], coming hard on the heels of our recently announced collaboration with Dongfang, is further validation of Atlantis’ leading position in the emerging tidal power market in a geography which we know well [as Atlantis first tested turbine prototypes off Australia].”

“We are now positioned to play an active role in the opening up of two high potential tidal power markets: China and Western Australia.”