Ocean Tidal Power Plant - Great Idea!

FunFunding has just been secured to break ground on the world’s largest ocean current-driven power plant on the shores of Scotland. 

The plant is expected to supply the electrical needs of 175,000 homes once completed, with the initial delivery of electricity expected by 2016. The first phase of the project will include 61 tidal turbines which will supply Scotland with enough power for 42,000 families. Eventually, there could be as many as 269 water turbines installed on the array, creating 398 megawatts of electricity. $83 million has been raised to start the first phase of the power plant.

Scotland has a goal of being completely off of fossil fuels by 2020, and this project puts them on the path to meet that ambitious target.  

Ocean tidal power plants, also known as tidal energy or tidal power plants, harness the kinetic energy of tides to generate electricity. These plants are designed to take advantage of the predictable and regular rise and fall of ocean tides caused by the gravitational forces of the moon and the sun.

Here's how ocean tidal power plants typically work:

Tidal Barrage: One common type of tidal power plant is a tidal barrage. It involves constructing a dam or barrage across a bay, estuary, or narrow inlet. When the tide rises, water flows into the enclosed area through sluice gates or turbines, which generate electricity. During ebb tides (when the tide recedes), the gates close, and the water trapped behind the barrage is released through the turbines again, generating power.

Tidal Stream Systems: Another type of tidal power plant is a tidal stream system. It consists of underwater turbines that are positioned in areas with strong tidal currents, such as straits or channels. As the tidal currents flow, they drive the rotation of the turbines, similar to how wind turns the blades of a wind turbine. The turbines are connected to generators that convert the mechanical energy into electricity.

Advantages of ocean tidal power plants include:

Renewable and Predictable: Tides are a predictable and renewable energy source, driven by celestial forces, making tidal energy a reliable and consistent form of renewable energy.

High Energy Density: Tidal currents are denser than wind or solar resources, which means a smaller footprint is needed to generate significant amounts of electricity.

Low Emissions: Tidal power plants do not produce greenhouse gas emissions during operation, contributing to cleaner energy generation.

Challenges and considerations include:

Limited Locations: Tidal power plants require suitable locations with strong tidal currents or significant tidal ranges, which limits their potential deployment to specific coastal areas.

Environmental Impact: Tidal barrages can impact local ecosystems, including fish migration patterns and sedimentation. Environmental studies and careful planning are necessary to mitigate these effects.

High Initial Costs: Tidal energy technology is still developing, and initial infrastructure costs can be high. However, with advancements and economies of scale, costs are expected to decrease over time.