Tocardo Tidal Turbines, producer of tidal and free-flow water turbines, has installed three of its T1 tidal turbines in the Dutch ‘Afsluitdijk’, a 32 km long primary sea defence. The three turbines are the first to be installed closely together in an array. Dutch Tidal Testing Centre, a long-standing partner of Tocardo, will manage the project. All electricity produced will be fed into the grid.

“The turbines will give us vital data and experience in turbine arrays. As the world’s only turbine manufacturer capable of installing this type of multi-turbine installation, we can now monitor the array in turbulent waters and see how the turbines interact,” says Hans van Breugel, Tocardo’s chief executive officer.

The turbine array is the latest for Tocardo in the area, in addition to its existing tidal turbine that has already been producing electricity for more than six years at a site near the Afsluitdijk, which is also managed by the Tidal Testing Centre. The array will have a capacity of more than 300 kW, producing electricity for about 100 households. Dutch energy company Greenchoice will buy and distribute the electricity. Once the array’s operations have been fine-tuned and evaluated, the project partners plan to implement additional tidal installations, with a capacity of up to 2 MW, in the Afsluitdijk.

More Afsluitdijk projects

Tocardo and Tidal Testing Centre have installed the three-turbine array as part of a recent agreement to cooperate for three-to-five years to expand the tidal test facility in the Afsluitdijk, where outflow of fresh water into the Wadden Sea creates powerful tidal flows.

The array’s installation is supported by the ‘Waddenfonds’, a not-for profit organisation promoting sustainable development in the Dutch Wadden Sea region. The project is also backed by the national and local Dutch governments, which are focused on strengthening the country’s sea defence. This has led to regional governments launching several innovative projects to generate renewable energy in the Afsluitdijk. In addition to Tocardo’s turbine technology, other techniques to generate clean energy in the Afsluitdijk are being tested*.

Tocardo is one of few companies in the world commercially manufacturing and marketing tidal turbines. The Netherlands-based company has closed deals to sell its technology in Nepal and to install tidal turbines in the UK, Canada and South Korea with a total capacity of well over 50 MW. It was recently appointed as one of two preferred partners to supply tidal turbines for a major new renewable energy initiative near the Isle of Man.

* For more information on projects in the Afsluitdijk see www.afsluitdijk.nl 

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