Atlantis Resources to lead ETI tidal energy cost-cutting project

Posted at May 25, 2012 » By : » Categories : News » Comments Off on Atlantis Resources to lead ETI tidal energy cost-cutting project

UK public-private partnership, the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI), has selected a team led by US company Atlantis Resources to spearhead its effort to cut the costs of tidal energy.

The Tidal Energy Converter (TEC) system demonstrator will use a system and through-life approach to identify, develop and confirm the best routes and supply chain options for commercially viable tidal energy.

Atlantis is currently testing its latest marine energy turbine, the 1 MW AR1000, at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney and at the National Renewable Energy Centre (Narec) in north east England. The company is also developing tidal generation sites in the Pentland Firth, Scotland, the gulfs of Khambhat and Kutch in Gujarat, India, and at the Fundy Ocean Research Center for Energy, Nova Scotia.

The announcement of the latest tidal demonstrator project was made by Energy Minister Charles Hendry on a trip to Aberdeen yesterday.

“Reducing costs to levels comparable to other low carbon systems is critical in accelerating the development and commercialisation of TEC device arrays,” he said. “This is part of a co-ordinated programme of public sector support to innovation in marine energy which is expected to exceed £80 million over the next few years.”

David Clarke, chief executive of ETI, adds that the cost and performance of tidal energy systems needs to be significantly improved to be viable for large-scale investment and deployment.

“For tidal technologies to be deployed at a commercially viable scale, array level system design needs to be addressed and supported with improvements in a wide range of supply-chain and infrastructure issues, including technology selection, subsea systems, on-shore electrical grid connection and device installation and operation,” he says.

The project led by Atlantis will aim to do just that, looking for cost effective installation routes and operation of tidal stream technologies.

“Together with our lead project partners, Lockheed Martin and Black Veatch, the project will seek to deliver cost reduction solutions that the industry can learn from and that will help make tidal power cost competitive on a large commercial scale,” says Atlantis CEO Tim Cornelius.

The first phase of the project will see a £1.75 million investment from the ETI to assess a variety of different system configurations and technology choices to meet cost-of-energy targets outlined by the ETI/UKERC Marine Technology Roadmap.

If the first phase goes according to plan, a second £10 million three-year phase will develop system and sub-system solutions to commercial readiness and demonstrate the innovations in a realistic offshore environment.

The ETI has invested £24 million in marine energy projects since 2008 as part of a wider £130 million investment programme.

Currently underway are the £12.4 million ReDAPT project to develop a 1 MW tidal generator and the £8 million PerAWAT project to develop tools capable of accurately estimating the output from wave and tidal stream converters.

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Related stories:
Scotland launches £18 million marine energy fund (24-May)
Vattenfall, Babcock and Abengoa launch marine energy engineering venture (9-May)
Atlantis to test tidal turbine at Narec’s new facility (7-Feb)
Tidal turbine goes with the flow in Scotland (13-Aug 2010)

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