Tuesday, December 8, 2009

News: €8m EU grant enables Pulse Tidal to develop commercial tidal energy system


Pulse Tidal, based on the Advanced Manufacturing Park in Rotherham is to receive a grant of €8 million from the EU's technology research and development fund (Framework Programme 7) to enable the company to begin work immediately on developing its first fully commercial tidal energy generator.

This 1MW generator will be commissioned in 2012 and will provide electricity for up to 1,000 homes.

Alongside this finance, the company has signed contracts with a group of international companies to develop the commercial device and form a secure supply chain for volume production.

The project team brings together all of the skills needed to develop and supply the commercial Pulse product: Bosch Rexroth for hydraulics, Herbosch Kiere for installation, DNV for certification, IT Power for engineering, Niestern Sander for construction, the Fraunhofer IWES for control and electrical systems and Gurit for composites.

The pioneering company has successfully developed a prototype system whereby tidal streams move horizontal blades up and down to drive a generator. This 100kW test rig in the Humber estuary currently feeds power into a chemicals company on the banks of the river.

Pulse chief executive Bob Smith said: "We have developed an economic way to recover predictable, renewable energy from the tides and are entering a young market predicted to be worth at least £6billion annually in electricity sales.

"The investment market has shown great excitement about our progress to date and I am delighted now to formalise the excellent relationship we have built up with our supply-chain partners. Combined with our own experienced staff this is a truly world-class team, which will deliver our low cost, low risk tidal power product to market in 2012.

"In the future tidal energy is set to surpass wind as the most economic and predictable source of offshore power."

The EU grant has been awarded to the team of Pulse and its seven supply chain partners to fund 50% of the development of Pulse's full-scale commercial generator. The remaining 50% will be provided by private investment.

Smith added: "With a very experienced team, proven technology and this €8m grant, we have all the ingredients to deliver a step-change in tidal power economics.

"We are negotiating the location for our first full-scale 1MW project, providing power for up to 1,000 homes. This will begin operation in 2012."

Pulse Tidal website

Images: pulsegeneration.co.uk


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