China installs ‘mammoth’ turbine in Wuhan city to harness tidal energy

The 500kW project has been developed by Scottish firm Simec Atlantis Energy and boasts a rotor diameter of 18 metres

China has installed a 500kW tidal stream turbine in the waters outside Wuhan city.

The installation was spread over 19 months, considering social distancing norms and amid strictly monitored manufacturing processes at the centre of the Covid-19 outbreak.

The project will harness some of the 8.2GW of tidal power calculated to be available in China – it has been developed by Scottish firm Simec Atlantis Energy and the turbine has a rotor diameter of 18 metres.

It is based on the MeyGen tidal power array in Scotland, the ‘world’s largest tidal stream power project’, which was awarded a £1.5 million grant from the Scottish Government earlier this year.

The project is part of China’s commitment to reduce urban pollution and fossil fuel-based energy generation – fossil fuels currently account for just under 60% of the country’s overall energy consumption.

Tim Cornelius, Chief Executive of SIMEC Atlantis Energy, said: “Atlantis can be extremely proud of the role we played in this project. The fast execution, from concept design to installation, represents a phenomenal feat of engineering that bodes well for a rapid future roll-out of tidal power in China, which in turn will have material cost reduction implications globally.

“MeyGen has demonstrated the true potential of tidal energy and has de-risked the market to the extent that we are now exporting know-how and equipment internationally, with China the latest market to open in Asia.”

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