The Perpetuus project to harness tidal energy off the Isle of Wight will be going ahead after receiving MMO approval

The Isle of Wight looks set to become the site of the UK’s largest tidal energy centre as part of a new project called Perpetuus.

Located in a 5km2 area off St Catherine’s Point (pictured above), the Perpetuus Tidal Energy Centre (PTEC) should generate a peak power output of 30MW.

Approval for the onshore development was granted by the Isle of Wight Council last year, and this week the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) gave its approval for the offshore infrastructure to be built.

Project director Mark Francis said: “We are delighted with the decision. PTEC will be pivotal to the future growth and success of the UK’s tidal energy industry.”

PTEC has been in development since 2010 and now the developers hope to be able to begin construction in 2017, with a view to generating electricity by the end of 2018.

Rob-StevensThe tidal energy project has worked closely with boating organisations and the organisers of the Round the Island Race to ensure minimal disruption.

What’s more, PTEC chairman Rob Stevens (pictured right) has strong links to the boating community, having worked as CEO of the British Marine Federation from 2005-2012.

Mr Francis added: “We now look forward to working with the MMO, local planning authority and all relevant stakeholders in completing the final development phase before we begin construction.”