tidal fence barrage for Severn Estuary UK Wales
[Severn Tidal Fence]

The idea of a tidal fence / barrage has been kicking around for almost 100 years as a means for flood control, transport, and potentially tidal power. The last 20 years years has seen an increase interest in tidal energy harvesting, though many countries, such as Canada, have completely sworn it off. One site that has had proposals floating around since the beginning is the Severn estuary.

map Severn Power Tidal Fence
[Plan of entire Severn dam. Sluices in green, turbines in red.]

A £15bn dam, spanning the estuary from Lavernock Point near Cardiff, to Brean Down, near Weston-super-Mare called the Severn Tidal Fence has been proposed. It is estimated to provide 5% of the UK's renewable energy needs. It is a continuous line of underwater tidal current turbines, which would force water flow through them, and would be around 9km long, in three 3km sections, passing near to the Bristol channel's two islands.

The fence would have a capacity of 1.3GW - slightly more than Sizewell B nuclear power station - and provide around 1% of the country's electricity supply.

Two other projects announced in the last year also capitalize on giant tidal harvesting turbines:

tidal turbines Korea
[The Wando Hoenggan Water Way turvines are each 11.5m in diameter.]

(1) Lunar Energy, Britain's leading tidal power company, in March 2008 announced an agreement with Korean Midland Power Co (KOMIPO), to create a giant 300-turbine field (!!) in the Wando Hoenggan Water Way off the South Korean coast. The plant will provide 300MW of renewable energy by 2015. An installation of a 1MW pilot plant is expected by March 2009. Each 1MW unit has a turbine diameter of 11.5 metres. (via)

[SeaGen in Strangford Lough]

(2) Seagen is a 1.2MW tidal energy converter sited roughly 1km south of the ferry route between Strangford and Portaferry, approximately 400m from the shoreline. When fully operational later in
the summer, its 16m diameter, twin rotors will operate for up to 18-20 hours per day
to produce enough clean, green electricity, equivalent to that used by a 1000 homes. (via)

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