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Tidal Energy

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    クエネルギー展望 | EnErgy OutlOOk   
Tidal Energy
Asia Pacific Plant Management Magazine APRIL – MAY 2016

Tidal Energy

The world’s largest current-driven power plant on the shores of Scotland with investment expected at close to a hundred million dollars generating 398 megawatts of electricity will not only help secure the strategic energy plan in achieving fossil-free energy by 2020 for the country, it will also demonstrate the potential of tidal energy to the world.

Largest Marine Project in Europe

A 25 year operational lease signed with the UK Crown Estate in 2010 gives MeyGen exclusive rights for the development project at Pentland Firth, Scotland. Located at the Inner Sound of the Pentland Firth gives MeyGen access to first class tidal resources with the fastest tidal currents in the British Isles and access to the grid. Water turbines will be fitted across the channel in an area with 3.3 sq-km of high currents. Researchers from Edinburgh and Oxford Universities estimate that turbines in the Inner Sound could generate 1.9 GW of clean and renewable energy for Scotland.

The project is separated into two phases. The first phase includes 61 tidal turbines which will supply Scotland with enough power for 42,000 families and includes an environmental impact assessment (EIA) carried out by Xodus. The second phase will later be conducted by both the UK Crown Estate and the British government where there could potentially be as many as 269 water turbines installed creating 398 megawatts of electricity.

Turbines by Lockheed Martin

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Marine power turbines differ from turbines used in harnessing wind energy. Sea water is 832 times denser than air so a 5-knot ocean current has more kinetic energy than 220 mph of wind. Ocean currents have very high energy density therefore smaller devices are required to harness tidal currents when compared to harnessing wind energy.

There are two main types of hydro turbines being impulse and reaction. The type of hydropower turbine selected for a project is based on the height of standing water, referred to as "head", and the flow or volume of water at the site. Other deciding factors include how deep the turbine must be set, its efficiency and cost.

MeyGen has awarded a construction contract to Lockheed Martin to deliver a 1.5 MW turbine for this project. Thedeal calls for Lockheed Martin to manufacture the steel turbine housing and all modules, including the gearbox and generator, while also providing systems integration and quality assurance services. The units, the "AR1500", will be amongst the largest single-rotor tidal turbines ever developed with 18 meter diameter rotors.

The AR1500 system will have pitching blades and full nacelle yaw rotation capabilities to facilitate operating in highly energetic deployment locations. The first unit was due for pre-delivery on-shore acceptance testing at the end of 2015 with delivery to Scotland's Pentland Firth expected in 2016.

The World’s Most Promising Power

Scientists and experts estimate that ocean energy (including wave power, tidal current power and ocean thermal energy conversion) represents a vast source of energy estimated at between 2,000 and 4,000 TWh (terawatt-hours) per year. This is enough energy to power two to four billion light bulbs. Considering that oceans cover over 70% of planet earth’s surface and around 45% of the world’s population live by the sea, there is no shortage of resources for clean energy.


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スコットランドの海洋エネルギー企業であるMeyGenは2010年、イギリス国家の土地管理を行う特殊法人であるCrown Estateとの間で、25 年間に渡る土地の賃貸契約を交わしました。これにより、MeyGenは、スコットランドのペントランド海峡における開発事業の専有権を獲得しました。MeyGenが借用する土地は、ペントランド海峡のInner Soundに位置し、イギリス諸島最速の海流と送電網が存在します。MeyGenは、3.3 平方キロメートルの強海流を有する海峡全域に、水力タービンを設置する予定です。エジンバラ大学、及びオックスフォード大学の研究者は、Inner Soundにおける水力タービンを通し、スコットランドへ1.9ギガワットのクリーンで再生可能なエネルギーが供給されると見ています。

この海流発電所の建設計画は、二段階に分けて実行されます。第一段階では、海流発電用タービン61機が海中に設置され、スコットランドの4万2千世帯の電力需要を満たす予定です。また、Xodusグループによる環境影響評価も実施されます。第二段階は、Crown Estateとイギリス政府により実行される予定で、398メガワットの発電能力を有する269機に上る水力タービンが海中に設置される見込みです。



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