World’s Largest Tidal Power to be Built in Korea

The U.K. Company Lunar Energy and the Korean firm Midland Power have agreed to build a giant 300 turbine power plant in the Wando Hoenggan Water Way, off the South Korean coast. The plant is expected to provide 300 megawatts of renewable energy to Korea by December 2015.
3.	The new turbine design eliminates the possibility of dolphins' entrance, thus keeping them safe (Credit:Lunar Energy) 
The new turbine design eliminates the
possibility of dolphins’ entrance, thus
keeping them safe (Credit:Lunar Energy)

Lunar Energy and Midland Power recently sealed the deal, worth 500 million British Pounds.  The companies agreed to build a tidal turbine farm that will provide South Korea with sufficient electrical energy, according to the expected growth in demand. The fabrication and installation of the tidal turbines will be carried out by Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries, while Rotech Engineering will provide design optimization and specialist components. 

According to the project’s schedule, full resource research and feasibility tests will be completed by July 2008, and the1MW pilot plant will be installed by March 2009. Each 1MW unit will have a turbine diameter of 11.5 meters, and a fully ballasted weight of over 2,500 tons. Lunar Energy Chairman, William Law, said: “I am delighted to announce this joint venture which will combine the subsea engineering skills of Rotech with the known fabrication expertise of Hyundai. It is also a testament to the forward thinking management of Korean Midland Power that they have seen the potential in this UK technology both for their company and Korea itself. Lunar’s leading role in this project gives a British company massive potential to exploit the roll out of tidal energy worldwide.” 

 Illustration of the future Korean Sea Farm (Credit: Lunar Energy)
Illustration of the future
Korean Sea Farm (Credit: Lunar Energy)

South Korea’s future utilization of tidal power joins the global trend of harnessing the powers of the oceans to produce clean, effective energy. The kinetic energy of oceanic tides is being used world-wide as an alternative energy source, since it is available and renewable. A major advantage of tidal turbine farms is that they are less polluting and more environmentally friendly than power plants that use coal or gas. 

TFOT recently published an article concerning technologies used to generate energy from sea tides. You can also read about the possibility of using unlimited solar energy from the ocean, a method which may enable the establishment of an efficient energy storage system across the world. Another related TFOT story is about the Air Tree, a ‘green’ power generating structure, designed to benefit both the environment and nearby residents by generating clean renewable energy, producing oxygen, and serving as a unique social gathering place. 

For more information on this project, see Lunar Energy’s website.