30MW tidal plan for UK's IOW

Plans to develop a 30MW tidal power demonstration hub on the UK's Isle of Wight have been unveiled by developer Perpetuus Energy.

Under a joint venture with the island's local council, as many as nine prototype devices will be tested in the currents at the Perpetuus Tidal Energy Centre (PTEC) site, slated to be open "in 2015-16".

“The aim of PTEC is to make clean renewable energy for the Isle of Wight and support the development of the tidal sector by facilitating the commercialisation of tidal technologies," says PTEC project manager Mark Francis.

"This project will pave the way for future tidal stream electricity generation.”

Environmental impact assessments engineering studies are underway, led by Royal HaskoningDHV and IT Power.

UK government-industry body the Carbon Trust calculates the global market for marine renewables could be worth £340bn by 2050, of which Britain's share could reach £76bn.

Ian Stephens, the leader of the Isle of Wight Council, says: “This is an important and exciting project, which has the potential to put the Isle of Wight at the forefront of tidal energy development in the UK."

The UK’s territorial waters are thought to represent around 15% of the world’s 29 TWh of economically accessible tidal resource.

By the end of 2013, total grid-connected tidal power capacity in Britain was less than 5MW.