Minesto, Atlantis win EU award for joint tidal energy research

Marine energy companies Minesto and Atlantis Resources Ltd. have been awarded close to US$960,000 from the Eurostars Programme to help advance tidal energy technology.

The funds “will be used to reduce the cost of tidal power plants by creating cost-effective high-reliability tidal turbine blades and wings of composite materials,” the companies said in a joint release.

Minesto and Atlantis said each company has “advanced marine energy technologies” that “complement each other rather than compete”, making the partnership “essential to speed up time-to-market for power plants that could make an impact on the global renewable energy arena.”

“This is a truly unique collaboration between tidal energy developers,” Minesto CEO Anders Jansson said. “Minesto and Atlantis introduce a wealth of experience from the development of marine energy plants, and our complimentary positions in the tidal energy market will facilitate extensive knowledge exchange that would not be viable via other technology developer collaborations.

“The funding also proves that Eurostars has identified marine energy as a strong future supplier of clean energy.”

The Eurostars program supports research-based small and medium enterprises by funding innovative products that can be rapidly commercialized. The program is publicly financed by the European Union.

“This funding and consequent partnership will enable us to design and build even better turbines, capable of operating at even greater efficiency in the most hostile of environments,” Atlantis CEO Tim Cornelius said.

The funding will be used to research key components shared by each company’s tidal energy generating systems.

The project will allow Minesto to further develop the wing for its Deep Green units, which rely on the wing to move in an 8-shaped path in tidal and ocean currents.

The same research will be used by Atlantis to improve its AR1500 tidal turbine. Atlantis said material testing will help it understand “the nature of the complex composite materials used in blade manufacture”.

HydroWorld.com reported in February that Minesto had been awarded more than $830,000 from the British Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) to extend an ocean trial of its Deep Green units in Northern Ireland’s Strangford Lough.

Meanwhile, Atlantis and RusHydro signed a memorandum of understanding for cooperation in developing joint projects in Australia this May.

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Michael Harris formerly was Editor for HydroWorld.com.

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