Tidal turbine set for two-month trial on the River Thames

A tidal turbine is to be installed alongside the HQS Wellington in the River Thames in order to trial the technology over a two-month period.

The proof-of-concept trials are said to be the first stage in plans to locate a tidal energy farm in the Thames that would generate enough electricity to power 35,000 homes.

The scheme will involve siting hundreds of tidal turbines, the largest capable of generating up to 500kW, along the river from Westminster to Margate.

The project is being developed by Thames Tidal, a joint venture involving Nautricity, a tidal technology developer, and Energy Invest Group, a global developer and financier of energy projects.

The project will utilise Nautricity’s CoRMaT, a contra-rotating turbine tethered to a sub-surface float allowing the device to operate in a range of water depths.

Thames Tidal plan to allow for more than 50MW of generating capacity, about an eighth of the power of the now decommissioned Battersea Power Station.

Tidal turbines are to be deployed in arrays of turbines along the Thames subject to planning consent and availability of sites.

The build-out of the arrays will be phased over a number of years and early work will focus on proving the technology to stakeholders.