A memorandum between Australia’s Charles Darwin University and Tenax Energy has provided the initial step in the southern hemisphere’s first tidal energy facility, which will be located in Australia and provide renewable energy to the city of Darwin. It is expected to be built in Clarence Strait, about 60 kilometers north of Darwin, and will start off with a 2 megawatt pilot plant.
The city of Darwin already has a goal to reach 20% renewable energy by 2020, so this tidal energy station would be a huge step in the right direction. Clarence Strait is known for its strong tidal movement, and the location is ideal since it is close to an existing power infrastructure. According to Tenax, if all goes well the tidal facility will provide a “significant percentage” of Darwin’s energy.
Tenax will spend the next few years studying a variety of underwater turbines to determine what works best for the site. Over time, it hopes to expand the operation along with Charles Darwin University researchers, who will study the project to better understand how it works in tropical waters.
The goal is to have everything ready to start generating energy by 2015, which will significantly improve the evolution of the city and, over time, Australia as a whole.