ENVIROTEK Makes Tidal Instream Energy a Reality in Southeast Asia
Envirotek has announced its intention to develop commercial tidal instream projects in Southeast Asia.
The initial focus is on the Philippines. In mid-February 2017, Envirotek, working with an international team of experts, successfully deployed a 62 kW SCHOTTEL Instream Turbine (SIT) in the waters off the Sentosa Boardwalk in Singapore. This demonstration project showcases the viability of tidal energy in the region. “This project is about developing appropriate technologies to address the very real energy needs of Southeast Asia. We are committed to delivering these tidal energy projects within the region, which can make a real difference to the lives of so many”, says Jefferson Cheng, Chairman and Founder of Envirotek.
Envirotek has actively supported a recently concluded Ocean Renewable Energy in Islandic Conditions Workshop jointly organized by the International Energy Agency – Ocean Energy Systems (IEA-OES), the Energy Research Institute @ Nanyang Technological University (ERI@N), and OceanPixel Pte Ltd last March 8-9, 2017 where participants from the Southeast Asian Collaboration for Ocean Renewable Energy (SEACORE) network and other global island regions were present. Jefferson Cheng, Chairman and Founder of Envirotek comments: “There is abundant resource within the Southeast Asian region that can provide significant amounts of energy that has not yet been tapped effectively. We are now building strong relationships with technology and service providers to develop effective solutions that are appropriate for deployment in this region.”
Tidal Instream Opportunities in the Philippines
With more than 7,000 islands, many of which are isolated communities that still have limited access to electricity, a significant opportunity exists in the Philippines to harness the power of the oceans to provide a reliable supply of energy.
Most of these communities use diesel generators to provide electricity. Due to high costs of fuel, transportation and handling, the supply is regularly limited to only 4-6 hours a day. Tidal currents regularly flow past many of these islands, providing a readily accessible energy resource.
Envirotek is working with its global partners to develop commercially viable tidal projects, which will benefit the local supply chain and attract inward investments.
OceanPixel Pte. Ltd., a Singapore-based innovation company, is presently providing Ocean Renewable Energy suitability analytics and project management to Envirotek. OceanPixel Managing Director Dr. Michael Lochinvar S. Abundo commented that, “To date, tidal energy has not been considered a viable source of energy in Southeast Asia. The technology that we are working on with our partners will make deployment in the region a commercial reality. Furthermore, there is tremendous potential for harnessing tidal instream energy in an archipelagic country like the Philippines. We are looking at marine renewable energy to form part of the energy mix – starting in off-grid areas but eventually feeding into micro-grids and ultimately the main grid.”
Integrated Floating Tidal Energy Solutions for Southeast Asia
Sustainable Marine Energy (SME) and SCHOTTEL HYDRO have been working on an integrated surface floating platform solution (PLAT-I) for less aggressive sites enabling the exploitation of a greater number of locations to support island communities. SME’s new PLAT-I platform provides a step-change reduction in the cost of delivering tidal energy—one of the Earth’s most abundant and reliable renewable energy sources. PLAT-I floats on the surface of the water and hosts 4 x SIT 250 turbines.
Jason Hayman, Managing Director of SME states that, “The need to supply reliable, cost effective power to remote communities is of critical importance. Working with Envirotek, OceanPixel and SCHOTTEL HYDRO, we believe that we have a solution that delivers results. We recognise that Southeast Asia presents a great opportunity and are keen to support Envirotek to deliver and be part of their journey.”
From Scottish into Southeast Asian Waters
Developed in Scotland by SME with governmental support, PLAT-I, a 268kW - four SIT 250 - platform will be tested in Scottish waters before being relocated to a demonstration site in Singapore. The delivery of such a platform to Singapore, funded by Envirotek, will see a significant step up in the scale and size of platforms available in Southeast Asia, and in the delivery of a commercial demonstrator. SME and SCHOTTEL HYDRO are clear that scaling up into arrays is a measured and sensible approach. Furthermore, Jason Hayman commented, “Not all locations will need large utility scale 1MW generating stations and, in many cases, such units will not be appropriate. The Southeast Asian market is a great environment to prove that tidal energy can be delivered incrementally, and eventually, scale to multi MW arrays using smaller units that can be supported using local infrastructure.”