Illustration/The AR1500 tidal energy turbine (Courtesy of SIMEC Atlantis Energy)

Alderney invites bids for new tidal energy projects

The government of Alderney has invited global tidal energy developers to submit proposals on how they would harness the estimated 3GW of tidal energy resources around the northernmost Channel island.

Illustration/The AR1500 tidal energy turbine (Courtesy of SIMEC Atlantis Energy)

Alderney is looking to benefit from its tidal energy resources which, if fully developed, could generate up to 3GW of power using current technology.

As an initial phase, the States of Alderney’s Energy Working Group is inviting a number of global tidal energy providers to submit proposals on how they would harness a limited amount of Alderney’s tidal energy resource as a testbed for their technology and/or to supply power to Alderney to complement the potential of the solar and wind projects being considered.

It is hoped responses from these companies will not only provide details of likely set-ups but also the potential cost per kWh of power generated, according to the government.

Based on these responses, the States of Alderney will consider whether it is worthwhile proceeding with a formal tender or negotiating process as tidal power may not be an economic option for the Island at this time.

Bill Abel, lead for the Energy Working Group, said: “Alderney is highly reliant upon imported oil for the generation of electricity, heating and transport. This is not only unsustainable for environmental reasons but will continue to make energy expensive, with limited expectation of being able to reduce the costs to consumers.

“We have the potential to produce renewable energy from solar, wind, tidal and wave resources and now, in addition to advancing solar and wind generation options, we are opening up the possibilities offered by our extensive tidal resources.

“Recognizing our past experiences related to our tidal resources, this process is being managed by the Policy & Finance Committee’s Energy Working Group, and we are committed to keeping the community informed. A report with regard to the Request for Proposals will be submitted to the States as part of the July Billet d’Etat.”

Independent estimates of the energy that could be harvested using current technology from tidal flows within three nautical miles of Alderney range from 1GW to 3GW, according to the States of Alderney.

Alderney is the northernmost of the inhabited Channel Islands, and is part of the Bailiwick of Guernsey, a British Crown dependency.

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