The UK Government’s Marine Management Organisation (MMO) has approved a grid-connected tidal energy development off the Isle of Wight coast.

Perpetuus Tidal Energy Centre (PTEC) submitted the application, which features activities associated to the construction and operation of a tidal energy center about 2km offshore from St Catherine’s Point, Isle of Wight.

After completion, the development may export energy produced into the electricity network through an onshore substation.

PTEC will commercially operate a range of several turbine technologies in a 5km² area off St Catherine’s Point.

Several tidal turbine manufacturers have already expressed interest to install their turbines. Once operational, the project will generate enough electricity to power over 15,000 households.

Work on the project was started in 2010 and the seabed Agreement for Lease was secured in November 2012.

Construction of the project is expected to commence in 2017, with potential to be generating electricity from late 2018.

Perpetuus Tidal Energy Centre project director Mark Francis said:

"Following a rigorous development and consenting phase, we have created a project that will deliver reliable power to the UK’s grid and has attracted world leading turbine manufacturers to partner with us in its implementation.

"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."

PTEC is operated as a joint venture between private firm Perpetuus Energy, and the Isle of Wight Council.