This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

March 21, 2007

E.ON and Lunar Energy to Build 8-Megawatt Tidal Power Project

Illustration of a seven-bladed turbine mounted in a housing that flares out in both the intake and exhaust directions. The housing is mounted on a heavy support structure.

The proposed tidal energy facility will consist of an array of turbines mounted on the sea bed.
Credit: Lunar Energy

E.ON and Lunar Energy announced on March 15th that they will build an 8-megawatt tidal stream power station off the west coast of the United Kingdom (UK). If built, the facility will be one of the largest of its kind in the world. E.ON is one of the largest renewable power generators in the UK, while Lunar Energy has worked with Rotech Engineering Ltd. to develop the patented Rotech Tidal Turbine, which will be employed in the new facility. The companies are currently reviewing a short list of possible sites for the new facility, which will consist of an array of turbines mounted on the ocean floor. E.ON anticipates that the plant will begin operation by 2010. See the press releases from E.ON and Lunar Energy and the Rotech Engineering Web site.

Back in the United States, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) is exploring the possibility of installing wave energy generators off the coast of Mendocino and Humboldt counties in northern California. The utility has filed two preliminary permit applications with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to secure the rights for the projects. PG&E envisions its "WaveConnect" projects as sites where multiple companies could deploy their wave energy conversion devices, allowing a direct comparison of the cost and performance of the devices. According to the utility, the projects could produce up to 40 megawatts of power. See the PG&E press release.