Even with its potential for providing predictable and sustainable electricity generation with no visual impact, tidal power still accounts for only a fraction of a percent of the world’s total electricity generation. That is slowly changing though, with numerous tidal power plants being constructed or planned for coastlines around the world. India is the latest country to wade into the tidal power waters with the announcement of its first commercial scale tidal current power plant to be constructed in the Indian State of Gujarat.
Following a recent economic and technical study of prime sites in the Gulf of Kutch by Atlantis Resources Corporation, which yielded the discovery of as much as 300MW of economically extractable tidal power resources, the Chief Minister of Gujarat, Narenda Modi, this week approved a 50MW tidal power project to be constructed in the Gulf of Kutch.
The project will see Gujarat Power Corporation Ltd. partner with London-based Atlantis Resources Corporation, which recently revealed plans to develop one of the world’s largest marine power projects in the UK using its new 1MW AK1000 tidal turbine. Both companies have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Gujarat government for the project, which could commence construction as early as this year.
As part of the agreed upon terms of the MoU for a total of 250MW of future tidal power development, the initial 50MW project could be scaled up to more than 200MW of installed capacity. The project is expected to cost around Rs 750 crore (approx. US$164 million).
Atlantis Resources Corp. also has plans to expand into China and South Korea, where it hopes to soon start commercial-scale trials. At last year’s Clean Energy conference in Singapore, Atlantis CEO Timothy Cornelius said global production of electricity harnessing the ocean waves may climb ten-fold to as much as 300MW in the next couple of years.
“China’s the next big market for tidal energy,” Cornelius said. “It has the most natural tidal resources in the world and can be home to more than 1,000 megawatts of tidal energy.”