Voith Siemens, Korea firms form tidal power venture

Voith Siemens Hydro Power Generation signed a memorandum of understanding with South Korean firms November 21, forming a joint venture to develop large tidal power plants.

Joining Voith Siemens in the Korea Current Power Joint Venture are Korea Hydro &Nuclear Power Co., Korea-based steel maker Posco, the Jeonnan Province government, and Korean renewable energy developer Renetec. In cooperation with Germany’s Institute of Fluid Mechanics and Hydraulic Machinery, Renetec has developed a tidal project in South Korea’s Wando Province.

Voith Siemens said the venture’s technology differs from traditional tidal power stations, which employ dams. This initiative is to utilize underwater machines attached to a bridge-like steel structure.

Prototypes are to be installed with a unit capacity of 600 kW, increasing to 1 MW each after a testing phase. Final implementation of a tidal energy park in South Korea is to have an overall capacity of 600 MW.

Voith Siemens first entered tidal power work with the acquisition of Scottish Wavegen of the United Kingdom. Wavegen operates the only grid-connected wave energy plant, the 500-kW Limpet on Islay Island in Scotland. It also has signed agreements for wave plants with Germany’s EnBw on the North Sea coast, and with RWE npower of the United Kingdom for the 3-MW Lewis Island plant in Scotland. (HNN 8/8/06)

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