News story

Grid-connected tidal energy centre approved

The MMO has approved an application for a grid-connected tidal energy development off the Isle of Wight coast.

Isle of Wight sea

The application, from Perpetuus Tidal Energy Centre Ltd, includes activities relating to the construction and operation of a tidal energy centre approximately 2km offshore from St Catherine’s Point, Isle of Wight. Upon construction the development may export energy generated into the electricity network via an onshore substation.

Under the Electricity Act 1989 and Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 the MMO approved marine works relating to the development of the Perpetuus Tidal Energy Centre (PTEC). These include the deployment of tidal energy converters (TECs) and laying of export and inter array cables. It also agreed the development may generate and export up to 30MW of electricity under section 36 of the Electricity Act 1989.

The application was originally made in late 2014. Since then the MMO has been working with interested parties to address comments and concerns regarding the project. This has included resolving issues such as possible risks to navigation, including recreational boating activities, following consultation with organisations including the Royal Yachting Association, Trinity House and Maritime and Coastguard Agency.

The MMO also considered concerns about the visual impact of the development. In order to address concerns from members of the public and mitigate the impacts the applicant has reduced the proposed height of the surface piercing superstructures for TECs from 18 metres to 9 metres above lowest astronomical tide. As a demonstration facility it should also be noted that various tidal devices and array configurations have the potential to be deployed at PTEC over its 25 year life.

Other conditions have been included within the licence document to manage potential risks to the marine environment.

The application is available on the MMO’s public register (ref MLA/2014/00563).

In addition to consent from the MMO separate permission from other organisations was also required. Onshore aspects of the development were approved in June 2015 by the Isle of Wight Council as the relevant local planning authority.

More information about the project is available on the developers’ website and also the Isle of Wight Council website.

Published 21 April 2016