A state-of-the-art tidal energy generation project, to be constructed off St Catherine’s Point, has today been given approval.
The Marine Management Organisation has given the go-ahead to the offshore elements of the Perpetuus Tidal Energy Centre (PTEC). The onshore part of the project, at Ventnor, was given planning consent by the Isle of Wight Council last year (8 September 2015). At 30MW, the project is the largest consented tidal stream energy project in England and Wales.
PTEC is set to become a world leader in large-scale tidal power production, which uses the perpetual motion of the changing tides to generate clean and reliable electricity. A number of tidal turbine manufacturers have already expressed interest in partnering with PTEC to install their turbines, to generate green energy for the UK’s grid and advance their development and growth.
Not only will PTEC generate enough clean electricity to power the equivalent of a quarter of all Isle of Wight homes, it will create jobs, business and training opportunities locally, as well as encourage investment. The EMEC marine energy project in Orkney has been shown over its first 10 years to have led to the creation of 250 jobs locally. Where possible, PTEC will also source materials and services locally, utilising the extensive marine and engineering related supply chain on the Island and around the Solent.
Project Director Mark Francis said: “We are delighted with the decision. PTEC will be pivotal to the future growth and success of the UK’s tidal energy industry.
“Work began on the PTEC project back in 2010, and we secured the seabed Agreement for Lease in November 2012. Following a lengthy and detailed consultation, we submitted our application to the MMO almost 17 months ago.
“We have created a project that will deliver reliable power to the UK’s grid and has attracted world leading turbine manufacturers to partner with us in its implementation.
“We will continue to work closely with all relevant stakeholders including the MMO, local planning authority, the local community, those in the fishing industry and local sailing clubs, throughout the next stage of the project prior to construction. We are keen to ensure that there is as little disruption as possible.”
PTEC is operated as a joint venture between private company, Perpetuus Energy Ltd, and the Isle of Wight Council. It is hoped that the construction of the project will start in 2017, with potential to be generating electricity from late 2018.