Rolls on tidal power

Rolls-Royce is to take a 23.5 per cent equity stake in TGL, a company that develops free stream tidal power generation capabilities. Current projects include the development of a 500kW and 1MW demonstrator to assess viability ahead of commercial multi-unit systems for tidal power arrays.

Rolls-Royce is researching key technologies that may provide solutions to environmental challenges in the aerospace, marine and energy sectors, to bring innovative products to market. The company view considerable synergies between the technologies and skills in existing marine and energy businesses and will apply these to TGL’s tidal power concept. It has already invested £1.5m and other technical resources.

The government is to support a 500kW development unit and International Power is to be a launch customer, selecting, procuring and developing sites for the initial production units.

Rolls-Royce engineering and technology director Colin Smith said: ‘The TGL concept incorporates novel installation, deployment and recovery techniques, and we believe it could be a cheaper and more reliable and maintainable tidal power system than is currently available.’