China, Netherlands sign joint agreement for 15-GW hydrokinetic project

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Officials from China and the Netherlands have signed an agreement that could create a 15-GW hydrokinetic plant off the Chinese coast, HydroWorld.com has learned.

The project would involve the construction of a 30-km by 60-km T-shaped dam that would be fitted with a number of conventional low-head turbines.

The Dutch consortium, called POWER (Partners Offering a Water Energy Revolution), says the massive length of the project will influence tidal patterns, simultaneously producing high and low tides on opposite sides of the structure.

Water passing through the turbines would then produce energy in a process POWER is calling "Dynamic Tidal Power" (DTP), potentially giving it enough capacity to rank among the largest hydropower projects in the world, the consortium says.

POWER says much research, development and testing must be done before a full-size plant can be built, however. "A lot of work must be done to determine if Dynamic Tidal Power is a feasible option for China," says National Energy Administration of China representative Peng Cheng.

The Chinese group, founded in August 2012 by China's National Energy Administration, consists of a number of Chinese companies and research institutes that will work with the POWER consortium.

The POWER group, meanwhile, is a group of Dutch companies operating with a two-year, US$2.71 million grant from the Netherlands government.

"We hope that a suitable demonstration project can be designed in the coming year or two," Peng says. "If that demonstration process proves successful, we will have a solid basis from which to investigate the application of full-scale Dynamic Tidal Power."

HydroWorld.com reported in September that Tocardo had begun manufacturing turbine generators for other Asian hydrokinetic projects, to be located in Nepal and Japan.

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