The £450,000 Tidal Modelling Project running until the end of 2012 will be led by consulting, engineering and construction company black-veatch supported by hydrodynamic modelling specialists HR Wallingford and the University of Edinburgh. The work will be carried out in Redhill, Surrey, Wallingford, Oxfordshire and Edinburgh.

It will develop models of the whole UK Continental Shelf that will be used to investigate how energy extraction at one site may affect the energy available elsewhere. A wide range of possible future tidal stream and tidal range sites, with differing technology possibilities will be represented in the models.

The project will identify how the interactions between different sites around the UK combine to form an overall effect, and what constraints these interactions will place on the design, development and location of future systems.

At the end of the project the models will be made available through a service provided by HR Wallingford to the wider marine industry to help inform future plans and strategies.

“There is potential for more of the UK’s tidal resources to be used to generate energy in the future from a combination of tidal stream and tidal range technologies,” said Dr David Clarke, Chief Executive of the ETI. “If this is to happen we need a greater understanding of the impact of energy extraction at various potential sites around the UK.

“This project will significantly increase the understanding of the effects of different interacting tidal energy schemes in UK waters giving the marine industry the evidence and knowledge it needs to make future investment decisions,” he added.

The ETI has invested £133M in 35 projects across eight programme areas, including £24M in its marine programme since it was formed in 2008.