Breakthrough tidal energy generators could be tested in Alderney

Spiralis Energy is in talks with the States over deploying its new device in Alderney's territorial waters.

More than two decades ago, Alderney was quick to put laws in place to enable it to exploit tidal energy.

It sits in the middle of two of the most active tidal streams in Europe, the Race and the Swinge.

But wave energy generators have been slow to develop and are not commercially viable.

Spiralis Energy is hoping to change that and has designed a simple, screw like generator.

It is in talks with Alderney's States to put two of them on a floating platform offshore.

They're big, the length of a cricket wicket, and they could be in place for a year.

Orkney is also a potential test site, but Policy and Finance Committee chair Nigel Vooght says the States are keen: 

“We are very interested in this proposal and await full details for discussion within our other committees.

This is an opportunity for Alderney to use a small part of its tidal resources to show that Alderney is open for business as a tidal energy test site.”

Spiralis need to test the device in all weathers to prove it works, before bidding for British government contracts.

It is understood that power would not be sent ashore during the period.

But, there are economic benefits for Alderney's economy, as Spiralis would pay them rent and may recruit locally, plus it will need harbour space for its equipment and service vessel.

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