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The GidroOGK 1.5MW test generator leaving its Sevmash production line
...that's gigawatts, not "jiggawatts"

In Russia's Mezen Bay, the difference between high and low tide is more than 20 feet. Lifting billions of tons of water this high involves huge amounts of energy... energy that Russia plans to harness. The nation is moving forward with plans to build a massive tidal power plant at the location. A turbine for the pilot project was delivered earlier this year and is slated to begin operation within the next few months. The pilot is only 1.5 MW capacity, but if the design is succesful, a 10,000 MW station will be built in its place.

Several other locations around the world are even more suited for tidal power. Canada's Bay of Fundy holds the record for greatest tidal variance (55 feet), but plans to build a large tidal station there have been stymied by objections from environmentalists, fearing it would harm sea mammals and increase shoreline erosion. 

GidroOGK, the company responsible for the new facility, is in a much different position than the Bay of Fundy proposition.  The Russian Polar Institute of Fisheries and Oceanography revealed findings that show fish pass through tidal plants practically undeterred.  Specifically. "field tests on the Kislogubskaya TPP failed to find killed or damaged specimens."

France currently operates the world's largest tidal power station, a 240MW plant located in the Rance Estuary.  Like solar power stations, tidal plants can only operate for about half of each day.

Russia currently has a 400 kW tidal station at Kislogubskaya, near where the GidroOGK plant is to be installed. 





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