JV Forms to Develop Tidal Current Turbines in South Korea

Voith Siemens Hydro and Korea-based Renetec are establishing a joint venture to develop tidal current technology. The new company, which will produce and market tidal current turbines, will be 51% owned by Voith Siemens.

Initially the company will concentrate on a 600-megawatt (MW) tidal current power plant to be located in the South Korean province of Wando, and will be set up with turbines mounted on a bridge-like construction. This bridge can support up to three turbines with a rated capacity of 1 MW each.

Its crossbeam can be rotated around the horizontal axis, which allows the turbines to follow the flow direction of high and low tides. The crossbeam can be lifted from the water for maintenance purposes. A park of tidal current power plants consists of a series of bridges with three turbines each.

In contrast to traditional tidal power plant technology, tidal current power plants do not have a dam. Resembling windmills, the new plants of Voith Siemens Hydro Tidal Corporation use the kinetic energy of the current instead of a water storage level. Ideal locations for these plants are sounds, bays or areas between islands, where the tidal current needs to squeeze through and, therefore, is accelerated.

‘With the foundation of this new company we are taking another decided step in our strategy to make ocean energies feasible as an additional economical and recognized form of renewable energy from water,” said Dr Hubert Lienard, President and CEO of Voith Siemens Hydro.

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