The first commercial tidal power plant to be built in Asia outside SE Asia will be built in the Indian state of Gujarat with a capacity initially of 50 MW.

The tidal project in the Gulf of Kutch will be developed by marine energy company Atlantis Resources Corporation and state-owned Gujarat Power Corporation (GPCL).

Narendra Modi, chief minister of Gujarat, has also agreed a total of 250MW of future tidal power development. Construction of the plant is hoped to begin later this year.

Atlantis recently conducted an economic and technical study of prime sites in the Gulf of Kutch where up to 300 MW of economically extractable tidal power resource was discovered.

The new plant will require hundreds of millions of dollars of investment in tidal turbines, associated power export infrastructure and the development of a local supply chain and will lead to the creation of hundreds of jobs in the region.

Once the project completes FEED (Front End Engineering Design) and reaches financial close, equity investment partners will be sought alongside existing shareholders. The project will receive feed-in tariffs from the state (in line with Gujarat’s tariffs for solar projects).

There will also be investigations into the possiblity of combining offshore wind resources in the Gulf of Kutch with the proven tidal current resource to assess the feasibility of a mega marine power project.

D. J. Pandian, chairman and MD of GPCL says: “Gujarat has significant resources in the waters of its coast, so tidal energy represents a huge opportunity for us. This project will be India’s first at a commercial scale and will deliver important economic and environmental benefits for the region, as well as paving the way for similar developments within Gujarat.”