Photo: Hayle Harbour (Courtesy of Marine-i/Photo by Hayle Harbour)

Marine-i exploring small-scale tidal range solution for Cornish Hayle Harbour

Marine-i project has been engaged by Community Energy Plus (CEP) and Cornwall Offshore Renewable Energy Ventures (COREV) to support the detailed research and feasibility studies on the development of small-scale tidal range solution for Hayle Harbour.

Photo of Hayle Harbour (Courtesy of Marine-i/Photo by Hayle Harbour)
Hayle Harbour (Courtesy of Marine-i/Photo by Hayle Harbour)

Over the last six years, extensive work has been done to evaluate opportunities for small-scale tidal range generation across south west England, with a particular focus on Cornwall and Hayle.

A key challenge has been to identify technology solutions that can operate within the physical conditions available in the south west, without the need for excessive infrastructure development, according to Marine-i.

Some technical feasibility activity is well advanced, having identified some specific options for small scale tidal range generation at Carnsew and Copperhouse Pools, Marine-i informed.

In order to develop the project to the next stage, the owners of the Hayle Harbour project, CEP and COREV, engaged the Marine-i team for support with conducting detailed research and feasibility studies.

The research programme devised by Marine-i involves expert teams from University of Exeter and Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult and falls into four key stages, with the first two related to turbine identification and technology selection, and control system design and network integration.

The final two stages cover mechanical, civil and engineering infrastructure requirements, and levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) modelling and building the economic case for small scale tidal generation.

The project manager for the work, Neil Farrington of Marine-i’s partner ORE Catapult, said:  “A key aim of the project is to demonstrate the economic viability of small-scale tidal range development. This could open up new markets and clear opportunities to exploit the tidal range, physical conditions and utilisation of existing infrastructure available across much of the UK, whilst supporting renewable energy generation targets and climate change commitments.

“The proposal could also have international reach, as it could be applicable to known areas of similar resource. At the same time, the business model and focus on direct supply options over potential future government subsidy support creates a stable platform for the long-term economic viability of the concept”.

CEP and COREV said they have worked closely with the harbour developer Sennybridge, ASDA, Cornwall Council, Hayle Town Council, the Environment agency, and many other parties, in order to make the Hayle Harbour development plans truly sustainable.

Tim Jones, chief executive of CEP, one of the consortium partners, added: “This research will be crucial to move the project towards full commercial readiness. It will enable a number of critical decisions to be made around the tidal technology selection and its integration into the wider proposed local smart grid system.

“Completion of the research phases of the project will lead to the development of key technology and infrastructure input costs, critical to the development of the full business case. This could allow the consortium to secure contractual commitments from Sennybridge, ASDA, and other potential energy end users within the harbour”.

Part funded by the European Regional Development Fund, Marine-i is designed to help the marine technology sector in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly grow through harnessing the full potential of research and innovation.