A state-of-the-art tidal energy generation project to be constructed off the Isle of Wight has today been given approval. The Marine Management Organisation has given the go-ahead to the offshore elements of the Perpetuus Tidal Energy Centre (PTEC). With the onshore part given local planning consent in September 2015, the project at 30MW is now the largest consented tidal stream energy project in England and Wales. It has also secured its future connection to the UK’s electricity grid.
PTEC is now set to become a world leader in large-scale tidal power production, using the motion of the changing tides to generate clean and reliable electricity for the UK.
PTEC will commercially operate a range of different world-leading turbine technologies in a five square kilometre area off St Catherine’s Point, the southernmost tip of the Isle of Wight. The project will bring international companies to the UK and accelerate the country’s adoption and understanding of tidal energy.
A number of tidal turbine manufacturers have already expressed interest in partnering with PTEC to install their turbines. Once operational, PTEC will generate sufficient clean electricity to power more than 15,000 homes.
Evidence from other tidal energy projects suggests that PTEC could also create or safeguard hundreds of jobs and attract significant investment into the local economy. Opportunities for businesses on the Isle of Wight and around the Solent area will be generated both in the construction and operational stages of the project.
Project Director Mark Francis said:
“We are delighted with the decision. PTEC will be pivotal to the future growth and success of the UK’s tidal energy industry.
“We started work on the PTEC project back in 2010 and secured the seabed Agreement for Lease in November 2012. Following a rigorous development and consenting phase, we have created a project that will deliver reliable power to the UK’s grid and has attracted world leading turbine manufacturers to partner with us in its implementation.
“We now look forward to working with the MMO, local planning authority and all relevant stakeholders in completing the final development phase before we begin construction.”
PTEC is operated as a joint venture between private company, Perpetuus Energy Ltd, and the Isle of Wight Council. It is hoped that the construction of the project will start in 2017, with potential to be generating electricity from late 2018.