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England's Isle of Wight hoping to construct tidal power testing facility

ISLE OF WIGHT, England 3/23/12 (PennWell) -- The Isle of Wight Council wants to construct a multi-million dollar tidal energy facility off St. Catherine's Point, the BBC reports.

The council has already pledged US $1.5 million to what it's calling the Solent Ocean Energy Centre, and that pledge has been matched by investments from the private sector.

The money will be used to fund Phase I of the plan, which includes the project's licenses and consents.

Phase II calls for the construction of a test bed and demonstration site, although governmental applications to receive the estimated $33.2 million in funding required were denied in 2011.

Financing the project now falls on the private sector, sources report, although organizers say as many as a dozen companies have agreed to invest in principal.

The Isle of Wight Council says it hopes to have equipment at the site by 2014.

The United Kingdom has been a hotbed of ocean power development. Another major testing site, the European Marine Energy Centre, recently announced it had filled the last spot at its testing site near Orkney, Scotland.

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