Kepler plans tidal energy fence


Kepler Energy is embarking on a funding round to develop a £143m, 30MW ‘tidal energy fence’ project in the Bristol Channel through the development phase and the planning process.

Subject to planning and financing, the initial tidal fence, which is likely to be located in the Aberthaw to Minehead stretch of water, could be operational by 2020/21.

The first phase of the project will be up to a 1km long, but the company believes that its tidal fences could be 10km or longer in the future.

The tidal fence technology, likened by Kepler to a water mill, would use carbon composite technology developed by Oxford University’s Department of Engineering Science for deployment in shallower, lower velocity tidal waters around the UK coastline and also overseas.

The uni consists of a stressed truss configuration Transverse Horizontal Axis Water Turbine designed to ensure a minimum of moving parts exposed to the tidal flow, while electrical equipment and controls are housed in dry columns.


The generating unit comprises two rotors with a central generator, with four supporting bearings and three foundation supports required.

The structure is configured so that the rotor needs no supporting structure, such as a central shaft, which leads to greater power efficiency and simpler construction, said Kepler.

Kepler chairman Peter Dixon said: “Our levelised costs of production will be in the range £100-£130 per MWh for utility scale production, so costs will be cheaper than lagoons and in time we will be cheaper than offshore wind generation.”

Kepler has shared its outline plans with a range of stakeholders including the Department of Energy & Climate Change, the Welsh Government, The Crown Estate and Bristol City Council.  It will embark on a wider stakeholder consultation programme later this year.

Source: reNews

Photo: Kepler Energy