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RusHydro, Atlantis ink deal for Australian tidal power development

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Russian energy giant RusHydro and tidal energy developer Atlantis Operations Ltd. have signed a memorandum of understanding for cooperation in developing joint projects in Australia.

Per the agreement, Atlantis and RusHydro (LSE: HYDR), via its wholly-owned subsidiary JSC Lenhydroproject, will identify and conduct feasibility studies on prospective tidal power locations in Western Australia.

"Our cooperation with Atlantis is an important step in the promotion of innovative technologies, such as orthogonal turbines, developed by RusHydro, to the international markets," JSC LenHydroproject general director Vladimir Pekhtin said. "The world's interest in tidal energy is increasing every year, as well as the need for advanced technical solutions allowing tidal power to compete in the power market."

Pekhtin said the company has been working on its orthogonal turbine for several years and feels confident that it is ready for commercial use.

The tidal power capacity along Western Australia's coastline exceeds 6.1 kW/m2, which, RusHydro said, "is substantially higher than in many other tidal power projects implemented worldwide."

Atlantis will submit an application to fund the project to Australia's Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) later this year.

"This memorandum of understanding, signed after our recently announced cooperation with Dongfang of China, is a further test of Atlantis' leading position on the emerging market of tidal power," Atlantis CEO Tim Cornelius said.

HydroWorld.com reported in March that Atlantis and Lockheed Martin had begun further work on optimizing its own tidal turbine, the AR1500.

Atlantis was awarded US$10.55 million from the European Commission's Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development in February after having also announcing an initial public offering on the Alternative Investment Market.

The company acquired Scotland's 398-MW MeyGen tidal array in November of this past year.

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