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India to build Asia's first commercial tidal power plant

Asia's first commercial tidal power plant will be built in the Indian state of Gujarat with an initial 50 MW capacity.

By Isabella Kaminski

The initial 50 MW tidal project in the Gulf of Kutch in Gujarat will be developed by international marine energy company Atlantis Resources Corporation and state-owned Gujarat Power Corporation (GPCL).

Narendra Modi, chief minister of Gujarat, has also agreed a total of 250MW of future tidal power development. Construction of the plant may begin later this year.

Atlantis recently conducted an economic and technical study of prime sites in the Gulf of Kutch where up to 300 MW of economically extractable tidal power resource was discovered.

The new plant will require hundreds of millions of dollars of investment in tidal turbines, associated power export infrastructure and the development of a local supply chain and will lead to the creation of hundreds of jobs in the region.

Once the project completes FEED (Front End Engineering Design) and reaches financial close, equity investment partners will be sought alongside existing shareholders. The project will receive feed-in tariffs from the state (in line with Gujarat’s tariffs for solar projects).

There will also be investigations into the possiblity of combining offshore wind resources in the Gulf of Kutch with the proven tidal current resource to assess the feasibility of a mega marine power project.

Tim Cornelius, CEO of Atlantis, says: “This is not only exciting for Gujarat and India – this is a land mark project for Asia. Chief minister Modi has once again demonstrated his commitment to using clean, renewable sources of energy generation as a source of economic stimulus and job creation. We are honoured and excited to be partnering with GPCL on such an important and historic project.”

D. J. Pandian, chairman and MD of GPCL says: “Gujarat has significant resources in the waters of its coast, so tidal energy represents a huge opportunity for us. This project will be India’s, and indeed Asia’s, first at a commercial scale and will deliver important economic and environmental benefits for the region, as well as paving the way for similar developments within Gujarat.”

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