Tidetec targets UK tidal lagoon market

Norwegian tidal technology developer, Tidetec, stated that the priority market for its low-head turbine is the UK’s future tidal lagoon industry.

“We are very eager to see the conclusion of the Hendry Review, an UK governmental review of the Tidal Lagoon Scheme, to be concluded this autumn. If the conclusion of this review is positive, it will kick off a large tidal lagoon industry in UK and open for exciting possibilities for Tidetec”, said Arne Kollandsrud, Tidetec’s Managing Director.

In June, the former UK Energy Minister, and now the head of tidal lagoons review, Charles Hendry, issued a call for evidence seeking suggestions on the cost, benefits and opportunities of tidal lagoons. The review will consider the cost-effectiveness of tidal lagoon energy and the potential opportunities that could arise from it in the UK and internationally. It will also assess possible structures for financing tidal lagoons, different sizes of projects as the first of a kind, and whether a competitive framework could be put in place for the delivery of tidal lagoon projects.

Tidetec’s technology includes low-head turbine capable of generating energy in both flow directions. A variable speed tubular turbine similar to a STRAFLO turbine is used in the design of the Tidetec turbine. The turbine will be equipped with adjustable guide vanes, fixed runner blades and a turning mechanism.

The company is currently gearing up to submerge the prototype in Svelvik, Norway. The prototype is intended to simulate a large scale barrage or lagoon application for a low head hydro turbine. The turret will be tested in a tidal stream environment for six weeks.

Tidetec said it is not focusing on developing its own turbines, as they aim for partnering with one of the large turbine suppliers. However, to show the feasibility of the Tidetec system they are currently developing a model turbine together with TUM (Technical University in Munich).

“Our next step is to provide our technology in a large scale project like Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon or one of the next planned UK Tidal lagoon projects. To achieve this, we need to partner with one of the large turbine manufacturers aiming to win the tenders for these projects. Or possibly an industrial company, ready to disrupt the conservative hydro turbine industry”, Kollandsrud said.

Tidetec is planning a new fundraising in early 2017 to fund engineering of the Tidetec turret to house a 20MW turbine with a runner diameter of 7.5 meters.