U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

Water Power Program

South Korea to Build World's Largest Tidal Energy Plant

June 8, 2005

VA Tech Hydro announced in late May that it will supply the main components for what will be the world's largest tidal energy plant, the 260-megawatt Sihwa Lake Tidal Power Plant in South Korea. The facility will dam the flow of water from the ocean into Sihwa Lake, creating power at high tide as the ocean flows into the lake, but allowing the unrestricted flow of the water back into the ocean during low tide. According to the company, this arrangement will also increase the water quality in the lake. Daewoo Engineering & Construction is leading the project, which the companies expect to complete by 2009. See the VA Tech Hydro press release.

Photo of a device hanging in mid-air and consisting of two propellers with a cylinder connnecting their housings.

SMD Hydrovision will soon make a full-scale version of this prototype tidal energy device.
Credit: SMD Hydrovision

Meanwhile, the U.K. Department of Trade and Industry announced a grant of nearly $5 million (2.7 million pounds) to SMD Hydrovision for the development of its tidal stream device, the TidEl. The propeller-driven device captures tidal flow energy while submerged in the ocean and moored to the ocean floor. According to SMD Hydrovision, a scale model successfully completed a seven-week trial, and the new grant will be used to develop a full-scale one-megawatt grid-connected system. The unit will be installed and tested next year at the European Marine Energy Center's Tidal Test Site, located near Stromness on the northern Scotland island of Orkney. See SMD Hydrovision's press release and TidEl Web page.