Going with the flow—tides to power to Top End
Tidal movements in the Top End are some of the largest in the country – and now the power of this immense water movement could be harnessed to provide energy to Northern Territory homes and businesses.
Under a new project announced this week, the Northern Territory could have a tidal energy supply by the end of the decade.
The Northern Territory’s Power and Water Corporation has signed an agreement with Tenax Energy to build a tidal energy plant and energy testing centre in the Clarence Strait, which separates Darwin and Melville Island.
This body of water, off the Tiwi Islands, represents one of the largest tidal resources close to a major Australian city.
Tides in this area can rise and fall up to four metres per day, and this has the potential to create more than 450 megawatts of energy—Darwin’s current peak demand is about 300 megawatts.
The tidal plant could be generating power by as early as 2015, and its supply could reach commercial levels by 2020.
The plant is the first of its kind in the world to be built in a tropical environment.
Tenax is also working to set up tidal energy sources in Tasmania and Victoria.