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South Korea starts up, to expand 1-MW Jindo Uldolmok

The 1-MW Jindo Uldolmok tidal energy project is operating in South Korea, and government and research officials plan to expand it to 90 MW by 2013.

South Korea's Ministry of Land, Transport, and Maritime Affairs said the initial 1-MW project was completed in May 2009, becoming the country's first operating tidal plant. The ministry emphasized that all the project's related technologies were developed in Korea, a country 97 percent dependent on foreign energy.

The project was initiated in 2005 in Uldolmok Strait, off Uldolmok, Jindo Island, in South Jeolla Province. The project is to produce 2.4 gigawatt-hours annually.

Korea East West Power Co. and South Jeolla Province signed an investment agreement in 2006 to develop a tidal plant in Jindo. Hyundai Construction & Engineering was chosen to construct a test power plant, Hyundai Heavy Industries was named to develop generators, and Iljin Electric was chosen to manufacture mechanical equipment.

Ecofys completes installation of 30-kW unit in Holland

Ecofys in Holland completed installation of a 30-kW Wave Rotor demonstration unit in the Westerschelde in the south of Holland. The unit began trial operations in July 2009, says Peter Scheijgrond with Ecofys. The company plans to start analyzing the data gathered in September 2009, he says.

Ecofys chose this location in the North Sea because it has high tidal flows up to 2 meters per second close to the shore. Waves in the area are as high as 1.5 meters several times a day. Testing at this site is intended to investigate the performance of the Wave Rotor and all components in the ocean environment.

The Wave Rotor unit consists of a rotor containing both slanted and horizontal blades. The vertical and horizontal motions of ocean waves generate lift over the blades. This lift turns the rotor, which is attached to a generator via a gearbox. The rotor is the only moving part in the water; all other parts are about 10 meters above the water level.

J P Kenny develops new Offshore Renewables Division

J P Kenny, a pipeline and subsea engineering and management contractor based in the United Kingdom, has formed an Offshore Renewables Division. Personnel in this division will work on delivery of the company's existing renewable projects and expand to seek to capture a large share of the market for engineering and project management.

J P Kenny's renewable energy projects include: the Wave Hub development off the coast of Cornwall in southwest England and support of wave energy projects being developed by Oceanlinx Ltd. of Australia.

J P Kenny has seven offices worldwide and operates within the Engineering & Production Facilities Division of Wood Group. Tim O'Sullivan was appointed operations director of the new division of J P Kenny. Before joining J P Kenny, O'Sullivan led MCS in Aberdeen, Scotland, a subsea technology company owned by Wood Group.

Wood Group is an international energy services company that operates in 46 countries.

Feasibility study beginning for Solway Firth project

A consortium led by Halcrow Group Ltd. is studying the feasibility of a tidal power project on Solway Firth in the United Kingdom.

Northwest Regional Development Agency, Scottish Enterprise, and the U.K.'s Nuclear Decommissioning Authority announced in July 2009 that they agreed to commission the 100,000 pound (US$164,000) feasibility study. The goal of the study is to evaluate options for harnessing tidal power at Solway Firth, on the border of England and Scotland.

The concept of a Solway Energy Gateway is being promoted in the form of a tidal barrage at the site of a former railway viaduct that spanned the firth from Bowness in England to Annan in Scotland. The study is being supported by nb21c (social enterprise) Ltd., the organization responsible for conceiving, developing, and promoting the community-based proposal. A Solway Energy Gateway Steering Group is being formed with representation from both sides of the border, as well as funders and interested parties from the public and private sectors.

New Zealand firm to finance 200-MW project

New Zealand-based World Energy Research is financing development of a 200-MW tidal power project by Blue Energy Canada.

In July 2009, World Energy Research agreed to finance Vancouver-based Blue Energy's first big commercial tidal project, at a location to be announced, at a cost of about US$500 million.

Blue Energy Canada's vertical axis turbine is designed to be efficiently lift driven, much like modern wind turbines. The turbine is composed of vertical hydrofoils attached to a central shaft transmitting torque to a generator. The turbine is to be housed in a thin concrete caisson that channels water flow to the unit and houses the generator and electrical components above the water surface. The modular units are designed to be stacked to serve as a bridge between two land masses.

World Energy Research is an Auckland-based energy research, exploration, management, and operating company that specializes in development and commercialization of green energy technology.

Australia state approves wave energy pilot projects

The government of South Australia State has approved two wave energy pilot projects that will utilize the extensive energy generated by the Southern Ocean off Australia.

The state approved one project, by Wave Rider Energy Pty Ltd., in May 2009 and one, by Carnegie Corp., in April 2009.

A wave power assessment of the southern Australia coast last year found 170,000 MW of potential near-shore wave energy potential. The independent report, commissioned by wave energy developer Carnegie, estimated a "conservative" 10 percent of that amount — 17,000 MW — is economically extractable.

Wave Rider's project is planned for installation off Elliston on the Eyre Peninsula. The company plans an initial investment of A$5 million (US$3.9 million). Premiere Mike Rann said Wave Rider's first Wave Energy Converter will be deployed on a seabed lease.

The Carnegie project will be located at a test site along the Limestone Coast near Port MacDonnell.

Briefly…

Chile and the United States are cooperating to advance high-priority energy issues, such as energy efficiency technologies and developing renewable energy sources including ocean power. … Equipment manufacturer Alstom Hydro signed a technology licensing agreement with Clean Current Power Systems Inc., a Canadian developer of hydrokinetic tidal energy technology. The agreement includes an exclusive worldwide license for ocean and tidal stream applications for Clean Current's patented technology.

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