Isle of Wight tidal energy project out of hibernation, as IWC is asked to invest another £244,000

The once controversial tidal energy project – that many people thought had shut down – appears to be coming back to life with the council deciding on whether they will invest £244,000

fifty pound note

Many thought the Perpetuus Tidal Energy Centre (<- follow link to see background) project was dead in the water after the 2017 change in Government policy, which led tidal energy companies saying they could not compete with offshore wind bids.

However, three years later the project – which has been in hibernation – has re-emerged and with it, the ‘call in’ procedure on another loan investment being dis-applied, council papers say, “due to the need for urgency in decision-making at Isle of Wight council”.

£1m already invested
Following a cabinet decision in 2013, the IWC has invested over £1m in the project to convert tidal stream energy to electricity, “sufficient to provide carbon free power to a quarter of Island homes, and at the same time produce significant economic benefits for the Isle of Wight”. They have a 15 per cent shareholder stake in PTEC Ltd.

Planning permission and marine licences and leases were all in place, but have now expired.

Invest a further £244,000
Certain members of the Isle of Wight council are now being asked to make a decision on a further loan investment to the project.

They have had an offer of financial support from the European Union Tiger project to assist renewing the licences and leases, but would need to make another loan investment of further £244,000.

The report explains:

In order to secure the first phase of funding from the Tiger project PTEC has approached the council for a further loan of £244,000; this will lever in £366,000 in EU funding to secure the leases and licences for the future and enable a further phase of work, also attracting Tiger funds, to secure financial close on the scheme.

In order to secure the EU funds and effectively keep the project alive, PTEC is required to confirm its match funding is secured and in place by the end of March.

It is the intention to reinstate the project consents by the end of 2020, to reach financial close by the end of 2021 and to begin construction in 2022.

Scrutiny of the decision
Cllr Andrew Garratt (LibDem), Chair of the Corporate Scrutiny Committee, has been consulted and has recommended the decision be considered at an urgent meeting of the Neighbourhoods and Regeneration policy and scrutiny committee, so it can be properly scrutinised.

The Chair of the Neighbourhoods and Regeneration Policy Scrutiny committee, Cllr Michael Beston (Con), has for dis-application of ‘call in’ and will instruct committee officers to include review of the decision as part of the committee’s “forward work programme at the earliest opportunity”.

Protecting the £1m investment
The council papers say:

The further council investment of £244,000 is intended to protect the council’s initial investment of £1m and increase PTEC’s value by enabling the project to develop towards financial close and implementation.

Positive impact on IW’s carbon emissions
Although the project would not impact the council’s own carbon management plan, once operational, “PTEC will have a significant positive impact on the Island’s carbon emissions by providing clean electricity equivalent to the consumption of some 15,700 households.

This will result in carbon dioxide savings of 9,000 tCO2 per annum”.

The Decision-makers
The proposal is only being discussed by Cllr Dave Stewart (Leader), Cllr Stuart Hutchinson (Deputy Leader), Cllr Wayne Whittle (Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Business Development) and representatives of PTEC.

The paper
The recommendation is to make a further loan investment of £244,000 in PTEC subject to the conditions set out in appendix 1.

Full details can be found in the council report below. Click on the full screen icon to see larger version.

Image: Images Money under CC BY 2.0

Friday, 13th March, 2020 11:26am

By

ShortURL: http://wig.ht/2nwi

Filed under: Top story

Any views or opinions presented in the comments below must comply with the Commenting 'House Rules' and are solely those of the author and do not represent those of OnTheWight.

Leave your Reply

8 Comments on "Isle of Wight tidal energy project out of hibernation, as IWC is asked to invest another £244,000"

newest oldest most voted
Colin
No, no no. Just no. Has no-one learnt anything after wasting over a million pounds which we couldn’t afford? It’s the wrong place for tidal flow. Siemens pulled out of spending further private money in their investments elsewhere and closed up the division in the company. I think they know something. Try having a look at all the other stalled projects and learn. Yes, there is a… Read more »
Steve Goodman

One thing we have learnt is that using the onshore wind which the Island nimbys said no to is the cheapest way to provide our power.

Also learned: our use of filthy fossil fuel power is costing the earth, and costing us, in involuntary subsidies,(from memory) about 4 or 5 $billion annually, or about 10 $million every minute.

neilwheel

Sounds like a good investment on the Island , bringing businesses to the Island and providing cheaper green electricity for Islanders. Colin where is the objective peer reviewed appraisal of tide energy production off St Catherine’s? Surely a better investment compared to mainland out of town shopping precincts.

Colin
@ neilwheel If you google “meygen” you will find the offshore Scottish scheme. Have a read. Consider the conditions and the impsct. The other major UK scheme has been at Strangford Lough in Northern Ireland for years. I would take the figures used in the IW document with a large pinch of salt especially when considering the proven figures of these other schemes. Sounds good? Of course… Read more »
azwills
This seems to me like the double glazing salesman wanting a quick answer to get a good deal…so you don’t have time to revisit the original proposals.. It seems a good idea if only there were no so many ifs, perhaps, shoulds, mays, no guarantees, depending ons, etc. Incidentally I see in the original documents the maximum height at low tide was stated as 9 metres, however… Read more »
eddo

Plainly a case of good after bad, I find it so hard to understand the thinking on this

nick

I’m sure someone will have checked out the accounts of Perpetuus Tidal Energy Centre Ltd and the parent company Perpetuus Energy Ltd. It’s always prudent to do so before making large investment decisions.

Colin

@ nick. Well spotted; makes interesting reading. Definitely no, no, no, then.