A state-of-the-art tidal energy generation project to be constructed off the Isle of Wight coast has been given approval. 

The Marine Management Organisation has given the go-ahead to the offshore elements of the Perpetuus Tidal Energy Centre (PTEC).

Green light for tidal energy

The application, from Perpetuus Tidal Energy Centre Ltd, includes activities relating to the construction and operation of a tidal energy centre approximately 2km offshore from St Catherine's Point, Isle of Wight.

Upon construction the development may export energy generated into the electricity network via an onshore substation.

Under the Electricity Act 1989 and Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 the MMO approved marine works relating to the development of the Perpetuus Tidal Energy Centre (PTEC).

These include the deployment of tidal energy converters (TECs) and laying of export and inter array cables. It also agreed the development may generate and export up to 30MW of electricity under section 36 of the Electricity Act 1989.

Risks to navigation

The application was originally made in late 2014. Since then the MMO has been working with interested parties to address comments and concerns regarding the project.

This has included resolving issues such as possible risks to navigation, including recreational boating activities, following consultation with organisations including the Royal Yachting Association (RYA), Trinity House and Maritime and Coastguard Agency.

The developer has committed to continue working closely with all relevant stakeholders, including the local community, those in the fishing industry and local sailing clubs throughout the next stage of the project prior to construction.

Visual impact

The MMO also considered concerns about the visual impact of the development. In order to address concerns from members of the public and mitigate the impacts the applicant has reduced the proposed height of the surface piercing superstructures for TECs from 18 metres to 9 metres above lowest astronomical tide.

As a demonstration facility it should also be noted that various tidal devices and array configurations have the potential to be deployed at PTEC over its 25 year life.

Other conditions have been included within the licence document to manage potential risks to the marine environment.

Find out more

The application is available on the MMO's public register (ref MLA/2014/00563).

In addition to consent from the MMO separate permission from other organisations was also required. Onshore aspects of the development were approved in June 2015 by the Isle of Wight Council as the relevant local planning authority.

More information about the project is available on the developers' website and also the Isle of Wight Council website.