10 September 2013 — The world’s first tidal power station that can produce uninterrupted energy will start construction in Australia’s Kimberley region early next year, supplying renewable energy to the mining industry.
The Derby Tidal Power project will be the first tidal station in the southern hemisphere and the world’s first “double basin” scheme.
It is expected to supply 40 megawatts of power to the mining industry at a price below that of diesel.
Tidal Energy Australia managing director Brian Rourke said the station could revolutionise the Kimberley and cause an influx of new industry to the region.
The company has been working on the project for 15 years.
“We have sign off from the state government and are waiting on the Commonwealth go ahead. The mining company that will underwrite the development is now simply seeking environmental approval.
“We know there are a lot of people in the Derby area who would like power at a reasonable rate and there are many projects that can’t be green lighted because the price of power would be prohibitive. We are about to change all that.”
The Derby Tidal Power Station will produce energy at the rate of 30-35 cents per kilowatt hour.
Mr Rourke says the reason no “double basin” tidal stations have been built before is because there is a need for two estuaries to be close enough together to generate power, with the water flowing from one basin to another.
That is the case with the east and west branches of Doctor’s Creek, on the outskirts of Derby.
Mr Rourke says the power station will take about two years to build, depending on the length of the wet season.
Mr Rourke is a keynote speaker at All-Energy Australia 2013 in Melbourne on 9 and 10 October.
Conference details here.