The West Australian government is working to help take advantage of the renewable energy opportunity along some of Australia’s massive coastline. It has just approved plans for a 40 megawatt tidal power station to be located in West Kimberley. This will be the state’s first utility-scale ocean energy plant.
Tidal Energy Australia is currently developing the plan, which will be located near Derby, an area that provides tidal movement strong enough to power 10,000 to 15,000 homes. It will cost at least $250-300 per megawatt hour, which Renew Economy says isn’t a huge decrease from the cost of diesel but a huge step in utilizing more of Australia’s renewable resources. As the cost of gas increases, it’s also likely that it will be significantly cheaper to maintain over time.
The system will include six 8-megawatt turbines, outputting 200 gigawatt hours annually and displacing 27,000 tons of CO2 annually. Aside from the massive environmental benefit it will provide, it is also expected to bring a decent number of clean energy jobs to the area.
If this project proves to be a success, we may see more and more popping up along the coast where the tide affords it. Would you like to see more tidal power projects like this around the world?