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The Perpetuus Tidal Energy Centre (PTEC) on the Isle of Wight (UK)


Project Overview

The Isle of Wight Council is seeking to exploit the powerful tidal resources around the Island, for the generation of renewable energy.The Perpetuus Tidal Energy Centre (PTEC) will be the world’s first multi technology tidal array demonstration facility.At its nearest point, PTEC will lie around 2.5km south of St Catherine’s Point, near Ventnor on the Isle of Wight. This ground breaking tidal energy facility will produce at least 20MW, and potentially up to 30MW (enough to power 15,000 homes), of clean, safe, and predictable renewable energy, for export to the Isle of Wight grid.PTEC will be suitable for the deployment of up to full scale single units and small arrays from prototype to pre-commercial demonstrators.

isle of wight

The tidal centre will have an element both offshore and onshore.

Offshore Development

PTEC will deploy a number of different turbines positioned in groups or arrays within an area of 5 km2. Export cables on the seabed will bring the electricity from the site to an onshore project substation and control room.

Previously constructed tidal projects and tidal test sites have been developed for the deployment of single devices. PTEC is therefore vital for the future development of the tidal energy industry.

Onshore Development

The export cable(s) will bring the energy generated by the tidal turbines to land at Castle Cove; this has been selected as the location that will cause the least environmental impact.  The cable will connect to a small project substation and control room, to be built near to where the cable comes ashore.  It is proposed that buried power cables will be laid from the project substation to an existing substation where it will connect to the Isle of Wight’s electricity grid; the closest existing substation is on Ventnor Industrial Estate. Grid connection points are still being reviewed with the Distribution Network Operator.
Applications for consent for the PTEC project are scheduled for submission towards the end of 2014.

If consent is granted, then construction is scheduled to start during 2015/2016 and should last no longer than 12 months. Once construction is completed, the facility will be commissioned and operational during 2016/2017.

Pro-Tide

The Pro-Tide project is contributing to the development of PTEC by funding a number of critical surveys and technical studies. These will determine the potential impacts of activities on marine flora, fauna, habitats and coastal processes. They will also determine the optimal layout of devices within the site and the best grid connection configuration for multiple devices and device types. Technical reports and management plans will be produced which will inform the future development of tidal arrays and generating sites.

An essential first step: surveying

The following studies are being undertaken to identify the existing environmental conditions at the site:

    • Monthly boat-based bird and marine mammal surveys have been ongoing since August 2013.
    • Geophysical and seabed (benthic) ecology surveys have been completed and habitat mapping is underway to provide a detailed understanding of the benthic ecology at the site.IsleofWight_site
    • Where to bring the energy export cable ashore is also being researched so that the environmental impacts can be minimised.

These three surveys are ongoing, with two more in the pipelines:

    • Coastal Process Survey: this study investigates the impact the tidal energy centre will have on the coastline of the Isle of Wight.
    • Pelagic Study: because tidal turbines have an impact on fish, looking at their species and numbers in the surrounding area should provide essential information.

A number of other surveys and investigations are being carried out, as well as stakeholder consultation. PTEC is committed to working closely with the Marine Management Organisation, Natural England and other stakeholders to minimize any potential impacts on the environment of the Isle of Wight and its surrounding seas.

What’s next?

After all the surveys are completed and analysed, an Environmental Statement will be produced. The Marine Management Organization will then decide whether to grant the necessary permits.

In-water Testing

Pro-Tide is also supporting the in-water testing of up to 3 early stage tidal energy devices, which will be selected in due course. These tests will take place around the Island, but not at the PTEC demonstration site. The purpose of the tests is to help to develop novel concepts and provide further information on environmental impacts of tidal energy generation.
The devices that will be deployed have not been selected yet, but the Isle Of Wight Council is talking to the industry to find out how they can best support their needs in modelling, tank testing and sea trials.



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