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Tidal power developer Pulse Tidal gets €8m EU grant

Pulse Tidal, a tidal power developer based in Sheffield, England, is receiving a €8 million grant from the EU’s technology research and development fund (Framework Programme 7) to enable Pulse Tidal to begin work immediately on developing its first fully commercial tidal energy generator.

Pulse Tidal has developed a system whereby tidal streams move horizontal blades up and down to drive a generator. Its 100 kW test rig in the Humber estuary currently feeds power into a chemicals company on the banks of the river. The 1 MW commercial tidal power generator will be commissioned in 2012, Pulse Tidal says.

Alongside the EU grant, the tidal power developer 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 consists of: 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.

Pulse chief executive Bob Smith, the former chief development officer at BP Solar, says: “According to the latest industry figures, with offshore wind energy costing up to £0.14/kWh to produce, the Pulse system is expected to match the cost of offshore wind after only 100 MW has been installed. In the future tidal energy is set to surpass wind as the most economic and predictable source of offshore power.”

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