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China Endorses 300 MW Ocean Energy Project

Thanks to China's insatiable appetite for energy and their increasing determination to add renewable energy to the mix, the ocean waters off the coast of China are on their way to gaining a large-scale ocean energy project.

The Chinese government signed an agreement with UK-based Tidal Electric for a renewable energy tidal power project near the mouth of the Yalu river. At 300 MW, the project would be the largest tidal power project in the world, according to the developers, topping the capacity of the 240 MW French tidal power plant in LaRance. Tidal Electric's offshore tidal power generation, also called "tidal lagoons," is a new approach to tidal power conversion which the company says resolves the environmental and economic problems of the familiar "tidal barrage" technology. Although it has been in use for more than 1000 years, Tidal Electric says the tidal barrage is unsuitable for broad-scale commercial use because of environmental and economic drawbacks due, primarily, to its shoreline location. Instead, Tidal Electric's tidal lagoons use a rubble mound impoundment structure and low-head hydroelectric generating equipment situated a mile or more offshore in a high tidal range area. Shallow tidal flats provide the most economical sites. Multi-cell impoundment structures provide higher load factors (about 62 percent) and have the flexibility to shape the output curve in order to dispatch power in response to demand price signals. The tides are highly predictable and permit tidal power to fit comfortably into existing electricity distribution grids. Tidal Electric also wrote a computer simulation program that uses equipment performance characteristics and tidal data to create a detailed simulation of generation output, water flows and storage, and is used for design optimization. Governor Zhang Wenyue of Liaoning Province (population 50.2 million) traveled to New York City for the signing ceremony accompanied by four Mayors from cities nearby the chosen site, provincial consenting authorities, foreign trade officials, and a contingent of foreign affairs specialists. Tidal Electric was represented by Chairman Peter Ullman, Director Gregory Bonenberger, and Michael Ashburn, a British citizen living in Beijing who heads up Tidal Electric's affiliate company Tai Yang Dian Li ("Clear World"). Detailed discussion of specific aspects of the agreement were held at the Yale Club in New York and included Mayor Chen of Dandong City and a contingent of other local officials who pledged their support and agreed to provide Tidal Electric with environmental data, tidal data, and liaison services. "China's economy is booming and requires many new power resources to keep its momentum going," Ullman said. "The Chinese government has clearly stated their support for renewable power. They demonstrated that by bringing top scientists and engineers together to carefully consider the tidal lagoon technology and ask all the hard questions. They are now satisfied the technology is credible." Next steps for the project are to conduct engineering feasibility studies similar to those that were recently successfully concluded in the UK by WS Atkins Engineering for Tidal Electric's Swansea Bay project.
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Some Hope for US Renewable Energy Tax Credits As Extension Bill Passes Committee

Vince Font In a lopsided 23-3 vote, the U.S. Senate Finance Committee voted yesterday to extend a number of renewable energy production tax credits through the end of 2016. The vote allows developers of wind, geothermal, biomass, land...
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Global Renewable Energy Is Status Positive

David Appleyard, Contributing Editor The headline figure from the authoritative REN21 Renewables Global Status Report 2015 (GSR) states renewables accounted for more than 59 percent of all new electricity generating capacity installed worldwide during 2014.
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Mid-Year Celebrations: Fireworks, A World Cup, And Clean Energy Momentum

Clint Wilder, Clean Edge This month alone, we Americans celebrated our nation’s birthday, capped off perfectly by the USA women’s soccer team’s sensational 5-2 victory in the World Cup final. As we hit the halfway point of 2015, the clean-energy in...
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Sandia Lab Program To Assist Small Clean Energy Companies

Sandia National Labs The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) chose Sandia National Laboratories as one of five leads in a pilot that will give small, clean-energy companies access to national laboratory expertise and resources. Sandia wil...


Volume 18, Issue 4


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