August 20, 2010 - Korean tidal power

Friday, August 20, 2010

Today, a quick look at tidal power development in Korea.  The 254 MW Sihwa Lake Tidal Power Plant in South Korea is scheduled to be ready to run as early as this December.  When it does, it will become the largest-capacity operating tidal power plant in the world, as it will dethrone the 240 MW Rance Tidal Power Station near Saint-Malo in France.

Sihwa Lake was formed in 1994 by the construction of a seawall to impound fresh water for agriculture and to help mitigate flooding.  However, as the impounded water became more and more polluted and thus useless for agriculture, the country responded by allowing seawater to flow in in 2004.  To develop the tidal power resource, the developer installed ten submerged bulb turbines into the tidal barrage.  These 25.4 MW turbines run when the tide floods in; the tide drop does not produce power in this configuration.  While this may be less efficient than an ideal scenario in which flows are more controlled and harnessed in both directions, this unpumped flood-based power production mechanism balances energy against other policies like land use and conservation.

Sihwa Lake isn't Korea's only tidal power project in development.  Daewoo has signed a contract for an 812 MW tidal barrage near Ganghwa Island; this project is scheduled to be completed in 2015.  Closer to islands west of Incheon, the government is exploring a 1,320 MW tidal power station for later this decade.

No comments:

Post a Comment