Marine energy companies Minesto and Atlantis Resources Ltd are to collaborate on a project that aims to reduce the cost of tidal energy after being awarded €750,000 from the Eurostars Programme, funded by the European Union.

The funds will be used help create cost effective high reliability tidal turbine blades and wings of composite materials, in a project with a total value of €1.5 million. Minesto and Atlantis are to work together on the project, stating that collaboration between different tidal energy developers is essential to speed up time-to-market for power plants that could make an impact on the global renewable energy arena.

“This is a truly unique collaboration between tidal energy developers," said Anders Jansson CEO of Minesto. "Minesto and Atlantis introduce a wealth of experience from the development of marine energy plants and our complimentary positions in the tidal energy market will facilitate extensive knowledge exchange that would not be viable via other technology developer collaborations. The funding also proves that Eurostars has identified marine energy as a strong future supplier of clean energy."

Eurostars is a programme that supports research-based small and medium enterprises, which develop innovative products, processes and services, to gain competitive advantage. Eurostars does this by providing funding for transnational innovation projects; the products of which are then rapidly commercialized. The Eurostars programme is publicly financed by the European Union with a total budget of EUR 1.14 billion.

"Constant innovation and collaboration in the development of tidal turbines will be critical to the commercialisation of the industry globally," said Atlantis CEO, Tim Cornelius. "This funding and consequent partnership will enable us to design and build even better turbines, capable of operating at even greater efficiency in the most hostile of environments."

“A better understanding of the material of the wing, its behaviour, and likely failure modes can lead to better design and monitoring and ultimately higher reliability and fewer expensive failures of key components," added Jansson. "The project will conduct research allowing the design of the wing to be optimised and so improve the power plant’s performance."

Key components of Minesto’s and Atlantis’ tidal energy converters will be jointly developed as part of the project. Minesto will further develop the wing for its Deep Green technology to harness tidal flows of 1.2-2.5m/sec. Atlantis will also be completing material testing to understand the nature of the complex composite materials used in blade manufacture; use Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and finite element analysis for detailed blade design; explore the optimization of methodologies and techniques for production; and manufacture, test and certify one turbine blade.