Planned floating tidal power units for Sanda Sound

In June last year  tidal stream energy developer Oceanflow Energy secured £0.56 million of public funding to support the build and deployment of its Evopod tidal energy device. The 35kW demonstration device (Oceanflow 35) will, pending consents, be deployed  in Sanda Sound off the South Kintyre coast sometime this year and be connected to the grid. The project will be undertaken by Oceanflow Energy’s Scottish subsidiary Oceanflow Development Ltd and the unit will be constructed in Scotland.

Oceanflow received the grant from the Wave and Tidal Energy: RD&D Support (WATERS) fund, a £13 million initiative administered by Scottish Enterprise with the remit of supporting the development and testing of new wave and tidal stream prototypes in Scottish waters. The fund’s aims are to support “early demonstration projects which will be vital to the sector’s credibility and long term growth: unlocking the envisaged benefits and establishing Scotland as a leading nation in wave and tidal development.”

The Evopod tidal stream turbine employs a semi-submerged floating platform and mooring system. Oceanflow believes that Evopod will provide an economic and low risk solution to significantly reduce tidal energy generating costs, particularly in the deep water harsh environment sites in Scotland where the bulk of this renewable energy resource resides.  This will be the first deployment of a commercial scale semi-submerged, tethered tidal stream turbine that can deliver useful amounts of power into the grid and follows a five year research programme including scale model tests and the testing of a 1/ 10th scale unit in Strangford Narrows, Northern Ireland.




If this development goes ahead as planned navigation through Sanda Sound will become impossible.

Flimsy moored structures as opposed to wholly subsea structures like the Atlantis turbine look like they could be a recipe for disaster in the ‘once in a hundred year’ storms that seem to come around every two or three years now. No doubt they are much cheaper to build and deploy than seabed structures, but they are a hazard to navigation and I feel that they should be resisted in favour of wholly submerged structures.

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