Offshore tidal power generation (“tidal lagoons”) is a new approach to tidal power conversion that resolves the environmental and economic problems of the familiar “tidal barrage” technology. Tidal lagoons use a rubble mound impoundment structure and low-head hydroelectric generating equipment situated a mile or more offshore in a high tidal range area. Shallow tidal flats provide the most economical sites. Multi-cell impoundment structures provide higher load factors (about 62%) and have the flexibility to shape the output curve in order to dispatch power in response to demand price signals.
The tides are highly predictable and permit tidal power to fit comfortably into existing electricity distribution grids. Tidal Electric has written a computer simulation program that uses equipment performance characteristics and tidal data to create a detailed simulation of generation output, water flows and storage, and is used for design optimization. Further content includes a history of tidal power, discussion of tidal power’s place in the renewables market, and discussion of potential hybrid (tidal/hydrogen, tidal/wind, tidal/wave) applications.