South Korea’s 3-MW Samchonpo uses cooling water, tides

State-run Korea Namdong Electrics has begun operation of the 3-MW Samchonpo hydroelectric plant, which is powered by cooling water from a thermal power plant and by ocean tides.

South Korea’s Ministry of Commerce, Industry, and Energy said the project, at Goseong in South Gyeonsang Province, is the first in the world to use both spent ocean cooling water from thermal power generators as well as tidal power, the official news service, Yonhap, reported. It is adjacent to the 1,120-MW Samchonpo thermal plant.

By using the difference in sea level during high and low tide in the area, the hydropower system can maximize power output,� a government official said.

The ministry contributed 3.03 billion won (US$3.27 million) to the 18 billion won (US$19.4 million) project, which required 32 months to build.

The plant can help avoid emissions of 17,300 tons of carbon dioxide per year and could serve as a model for hydro developments at other seaside thermal plants in South Korea.

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