Developers scale down Philippines tidal project

The multi-megawatt tidal energy project planned for San Bernardino Strait in the Philippines has been scaled down to 1.5MW to fit the local consumption.

The project, being developed by two Philippines-based companies PNOC RC and H&WB Asia Pacific, together with French tidal energy player Sabella, will now feature three tidal turbines with 500kW rated capacity each, Jean-Christophe Allo, Project Manager at Sabella, confirmed.

Originally planned as a 5MW tidal energy power plant, the project has been adapted to better suit the local consumption of Capul Island that will be benefiting from the energy produced by tides.

The project will also incorporate an onshore storage facility to ensure that tidal turbines provide continuous 24/7 power supply, Allo noted.

Jean-Christophe Allo said: “Right now, Capul has only 8 to 16 hours of energy per day, with several blackouts, and with an electrification rate around 60%. Our turbines coupled with onshore storage aim to provide a 24/7 reliable and renewable electricity. When the local consumption increases, we will be able to change the rated power of the turbine to follow it.”

Earlier this week, Sabella was on site at Capul Island to identify the landing area and all the grid characteristics to support the engineering for the project.

“We are moving forward with the detailed engineering of the tidal turbine plant, and H&WB is running the environmental impacts assessment (EIA) and permitting. We will then look to close the financing in early 2018,” added Allo.

To remind, Sabella and H&WB Asia Pacific teamed up in 2015 for the Philippines project.

The fully-owned subsidiary of the state-owned Philippine National Oil Company (PNOC), PNOC RC, joined the project early in 2017.

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