Photo: PTEC

Investment snag for Perpetuus Tidal Energy Centre

A decision on whether to approve a further £244,000 investment in Perpetuus Tidal Energy Centre (PTEC) has been delayed – this time by coronavirus.

The Isle of Wight council were set to approve the further investment to assist with renewal of licences and leases for the tidal energy scheme off the coast of St Catherine’s Point.

Instead the decision has been deferred.

“In light of the extraordinary circumstances created by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and the financial uncertainties it has created, the council will delay the decision on the further loan investment in PTEC until a future date when there are fewer variables to consider in assessing the overall deliverability of the project,” said the Isle of Wight council in a statement.

PTEC is a proposed tidal energy demonstration facility with a planned electrical generation capacity of 30MW.

The Perpetuus Tidal Energy Centre is operated as a joint venture between a private company, Perpetuus Energy Ltd, and the Isle of Wight council.

The PTEC project has been in hibernation after the 2017 change in Government policy, which led tidal energy companies saying they could not compete with offshore wind bids.

However, in order to secure the first phase of funding from the Tiger project PTEC approached the council for a further loan of £244,000.

This would lever in £366,000 in EU funding to secure the leases and licences for the future and enable a further phase of work, also attracting Tiger funds, to secure financial close on the scheme.

In order to secure the EU funds and effectively keep the project alive, PTEC was required to confirm its match funding is secured and in place by the end of March.

While the decision has been postponed, the council has said it will continue to work with PTEC, the Tiger Project and other stakeholders to help inform any future decision.

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