Is The Isle Of Wight’s Tidal Power Project Still Viable Or Dead In The Water?

The developer behind a ground-breaking tidal energy scheme off the Island’s south-east coast is insisting its renewable energy project is not dead in the water.

The Perpetuus Tidal Energy Centre (PTEC) argues the project could still happen, even though an Isle of Wight Councillor has been told that it is on hold.

In a statement, Perpetuus said:

“The decision by the UK government not to grant a minima [ring-fenced price] for marine energy in the latest round of Contract for Difference has meant that PTEC cannot currently compete on price with more mature renewable energy sectors like offshore wind where the majority of development risks have been mitigated through significant commercial deployment; enabled through continued government support.

“Whilst our project has been delayed it is still viable and we believe achievable with government support.”

The Isle of Wight and the Solent is considered to be one of four strategic areas for the development of marine energy. The PTEC project would provide 30mw tidal power, it is claimed, powering 15,000 homes. It was hoped it would be operational from 2020.

The project has been planned for the waters off the coast of Ventnor, prompting concern among local people who said it would impact fishing stocks.

Ryde Councillor Michael Lilley raised the issue of the development of the project at a meeting of the Isle of Wight Council’s scrutiny committee last month. He has been told it is on hold, raising a fear that the £1 million invested by the local authority will not be recovered.