FRENCH firm SABELLA SAS and Filipino company H&WB Asia Pacific (Pte Ltd) Corp. are putting up the first ocean tidal power plant project in the country.
The two energy development companies signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) last October 15 for the development and financing of the project, which will start with a 5-megawatt demonstration plant that will supply two cooperatives in Sorsogon province.
In 2013, the Energy department granted H&WB four ocean energy service contracts covering three areas in the San Bernardino Strait between Matnog, Sorsogon and Capul and Dalupiri, Leyte, and one in Sta. Ana, Cagayan.
The firms said the demonstration plant, which will provide power to the Sorsogon Electric Cooperative I and II, is part of a commitment to pursue renewable energy in the country. It is also consistent with Philippine and French climate change initiatives, they said.
The plant was described as a scaleable proof of concept that would allow the ramping-up of tidal in-stream energy conversion technologies next year.
Tidal in-stream energy is generated when streams of water flow between landmasses as a result of tidal height differences.
“Tidal energy resource is considered more predictable and consistent than wave energy resource, and even wind for that matter,” H&WB said.
Ocean energy—which includes tides, waves, tidal streams, ocean currents, thermal gradients and salinity gradients—presents a significant resource for clean, renewable energy, the company said.