Analysis of the optimal deployment location for tidal energy converters in the mesotidal Ria de Vigo (NW Spain)
The potential power output expected from the installation of a tidal farm near the mesotidal Ria de Vigo (NW Spain) is assessed using two different tidal stream energy converters (TEC). For this, the results of a previous resource assessment based on a 28-day long hydrodynamic simulation are used. From this data we identify the areas susceptible of hosting the farms, select the optimal location for them, and assess the total available and extractable energy for each turbine type. Finally, using a simple farm design based on standard inter-turbine separation, we estimate the expected power supplied by the farm. Irrespective of the site, the total available tidal power in the areas susceptible of hosting the farms is around 150 MW; at the optimal location, the hourly extractable power is about 22.5 MW, of which only between 10% and 15% can be harnessed by the designed farms, powering between 4411 and 6638 homes. A local analysis of the most energetic subregions within these sites increases this ratio up to 30%. Nevertheless, the power output is sufficient to fulfil the needs of between 1660 and 2213 households, depending on the chosen site and the selected TEC.