Industry News

World’s Largest Commercial Tidal Installation in Service

On Wednesday 25 November 2015, the tidal power plant in the Dutch Eastern Scheldt surge barrier has been put into service. The festive commissioning, where the largest tidal energy project in The Netherlands as well as the world’s largest commercial tidal installation of five turbines in an array, was performed by Diederik Samsom, Group Chairman of the Dutch Labour Party.

 

Mr Samsom expressed that tidal technology is innovative and could grow into a significant Dutch export product. The export expectation of tidal energy is more than 200 Gigawatt.

With the turbines in the Eastern Scheldt storm surge barrier, the world can now see that tidal energy could fulfil 10-20% of the world’s electricity needs, according to Hans van Breugel, CEO of Tocardo, producer of the tidal power plant.

Huisman has been willing to take this risk and support the project financially, because it believes in the future of tidal energy and great Dutch export opportunities. In addition to the financial sponsoring of the project, Huisman was responsible for the design and the construction of the turbine’s suspension structure. Joop Roodenburg, chairman of Huisman’s Board of Directors, sees as an advantage of tidal energy that it is extremely predictable how much energy is generated and the turbines are installed in the water, not so visible as wind turbines. For the future, a focus will be put on upscaling the installations. However, this requires a large investment, a realistic rate for tidal energy and a touch of idealism.

Besides Tocardo and Huisman, many other Dutch companies were involved in this project. Strukton has been actively involved in the project planning and was fully responsible for project management during installation. Mammoet’s involvement in the project comprises the transportation and installation of the Tidal Power Plant at the Eastern Scheldt storm surge barrier. The local companies Istimewa, Van der Straaten and Hillebrand also played an important role in terms of the electro-technical installation and steel structures. As manager of the Eastern Scheldt storm surge barrier, the Netherlands’ Department of Waterways and Public Works Rijkswaterstaat supports this innovative initiative to generate energy. Together with contractors, engineering firms and knowledge institutes, Rijkswaterstaat develops innovative solutions and whenever possible facilitates initiatives to test or build renewable energy installations. The province of Zeeland has provided a significant financial contribution to the project. This project also received funding from the European Regional Development Fund, the Dutch government and the province of Zeeland as part of the Operational Programme for Zuid-Nederland (OP-Zuid).

For more information, click here.

A video about building and installing the Eastern Scheldt project can be viewed here.

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