A Tidal Testing Center in Grevelingen (NL)

Project Overview

Living in Zeeland is living with low and high water.

The Tidal Testing Centre Grevelingendam (TTC-GD) will be situated at the Flakkeese Spuisluis at the Grevelingendam. The Flakkeese sluice gate consists of six tubes and connects the Grevelingmeer (a lake) with the Oosterschelde (an estuary connected to the North Sea). There, the water can flow in either direction, depending on the tides. There is public and commercial interest to adapt the  sluice gate to provide a unique facility for research and the development of technical systems for energy production from free stream and/or low head water streams.

The water quality in the Grevelingenmeer slowly deteriorated since the close of the Brouwersdam. In recent years a study  has been initiated by the government. This shows that the water quality in the Grevelingenmeer can be improved by partially reducing tide. This reduction can be combined with the construction of a tidal energy power plant that can generate energy for about 60,000 households.

doorsnede TTC grevelingendam


Pro-Tide: the first steps…

Within Pro-Tide, the Province of Zeeland is looking for the most suitable tidal technique to implement in Grevelingendam. There are three important parameters that need to be considered at all times:

  • The technique needs to be fish friendly.
  • The turbines should work in a low dynamic environment, as they have to be powerful enough to create energy from a mere 50 centimeters of difference between high and low tide.
  • The device should be able to pump. This because in the future the lake in Grevelingen will also be used as a reservoir for when nearby rivers as the Rhine, the river Waal and the Meuse have difficulties draining their huge amounts of water to the sea.

The first stage (making a list of usable techniques) is completed: you can download the report here.
Then, pilot tests (scale 1:10) should help to identify the best suitable tidal energy techniques for low dynamic areas as in Grevelingen.
Also, a more accurate cost estimation of a field test with a promising low head technique was made. You can read the report here.

Watch the movie:


 A look at the process

In springtime 2014, Pro-Tide organized a series of workshops to develop the Knowledge Alliance on tidal energy and further explore the development of a Tidal Testing Centre Grevelingendam (TTC NL GD). The interactive process with the participants as well as some findings are described below.

In the design of the interactive process, various elements of the consensus-building Mutual Gains Approach were incorporated: parties need to have a shared understanding of the project scope and complexity, agree upon the goal of a mutually beneficial solution and trust one another.

In the process realizing initiatives such as the TTC NL GD, three phases can be distinguished.

  1. it starts with people having ideas, knowledge and ambitions;
  2. the next step is to develop the idea into a viable and realistic initiative – and bring it together with other ideas;
  3. once the participants have a clear and shared view, the third step is to work out a concrete plan and a viable business case

Watch the movie:


In july 2015,  the supporting structure of the tidal power station, to be put in a passage of the Oosterschelde barrier, was transported by a pontoon from Hillebrand in Middelburg to Huisman in Schiedam. The large tube has a length of 40 meters and a diameter of 4 meters. In September 2015 , the entire system is then hung between two pillars of the Oosterschelde barrier.



A look at the future

Full scale tests are prepared in a real water discharge structure which is part of the Delta-works in the Province of Zeeland, but this is after suitable techniques have been selected. This is not a part of the Pro-Tide Project.

The ultimate goal of the Province of Zeeland is finding a suitable technique to use in their future 60 MW tidal plant in the Brouwersdam. The TTC-GD should provide all the data and suitable solutions needed.

You can find more information on Grevelingen, the Tidal Test Center and tidal power on www.toekomstgrevelingen.nl





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