China set for tidal debut with Atlantis

China's first industrial-scale tidal power demonstrator is on track for switch-on later this year after Dongfang Electrical Machinery inked a collaborative deal with London-headquartered Atlantis Resources for technology trials of its AR1000 turbine.

The onshore testing programme for the 1MW machine, which has already been put through its paces at the European Marine Energy Centre in Scotland's Orkney islands,  would be followed by an offshore demonstration project in Zhejiang Province being run by the China Energy Conservation and Environmental Protection Group.

The contract also names Atlantis as a sales agent for Dongfang’s related products in hydropower, pumped storage and tidal-range technology markets outside China.

"This extension to our worldwide strategic partnership with Dongfang is significant for Atlantis given the potential size of the Chinese tidal power market," states Atlantis chief executive Tim Cornelius.

“As well as helping to develop our supply chain and identify sales and project development opportunities in China, the agency agreement will have a near-term positive impact on our cash flows as we will receive a commission on the sale of any product or service secured by Dongfang from an Atlantis initiated opportunity."

Atlantis’ 1MW AR1000 turbine is a three-bladed machine standing 22.5 metres tall, weighing 1,500 tonnes and outfitted with an 18-metre-diameter rotor and permanent-magnet generator.

The Dongfang tie-up comes on the heels of last month's announcement that Atlantis has started work on a detailed design and systems integration agreement with Lockheed Martin to develop its 1.5MW AR1500 turbine.