Minesto Facility Connects Tidal Power Plant to Grid

Minesto tidal energy-generating kite being transported to the ocean

(Credit: Minesto)

by | Feb 14, 2024

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Minesto has successfully commissioned its first tidal power plant, Dragon 12, in the Faroe Islands, delivering ocean-generated electricity to the national grid in the United Kingdom.

The 1.2-megawatt utility-scale power plant features a 12-meter, 28-ton subsea kite anchored to the seabed that generates electricity by converting kinetic energy from tidal streams and ocean currents. The company has been developing and testing this tidal energy system since 2013, and the new power plant is reportedly a 10-times scale-up of its existing 100-kilowatt Dragon 4 model.

Minesto said that tidal energy presents great potential as a renewable energy source — tides are reliable and predictable compared to other renewable energy sources and require minimal land use. The company also claims that ocean currents and tidal streams have the potential to generate more than 600 gigawatts of installed capacity globally, which is 200 GW more than currently available global nuclear power.

“What the Minesto team has achieved today is extraordinary and set a new agenda for renewable energy build-out in many areas of the world,” said Dr. Martin Edlund, CEO of Minesto. “The competitiveness of the Dragon 12 is straight to the point; it’s powerful, cost-effective, and feeds predictable electricity to the grid.”

Companies Demonstrate Ocean-Based Energy Potential Worldwide

Although the company only recently achieved connection to the larger U.K. grid, Minesto has been providing tidal power to the Faroe Islands since 2020. The islands aim to produce all of their electricity from renewable energy sources by 2030, and Minesto is working with the local electric utility, SEV, to allow tidal energy to be a core part of the islands’ energy mix.

Similar projects around the world have demonstrated wave and tidal energy’s viability as a key contributor to renewable energy generation going forward.

In December 2023, Oscilla Power successfully deployed a wave energy converter off the coast of Maine, showing the technology’s ability to generate power despite harsh weather. Earlier in the year, Eco Wave Power Global successfully connected one of its wave energy projects to the Israel grid.

While the United States does not yet have any commercial-scale tidal energy power plants, the Energy Information Administration has said that demonstration projects are currently underway.

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