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Tocardo to generate renewable energy in Dutch Eastern Scheldt estuary

Tocardo Tidal Turbines, producer of tidal and free-flow water turbines, will install five tidal turbines in the Eastern Scheldt storm surge barrier (Oosterschelde barrier) to generate clean energy. This installation will be both the largest tidal energy project in the Netherlands as well as the world’s largest commercial tidal installation of five turbines in an array.


The Eastern Scheldt storm surge barrier is the largest of the world-renowned Delta Works series of dams and storm surge barriers, designed to protect the Netherlands from flooding from the North Sea. The location will now deliver the combination of water defences and hydroelectric power. The fast-flowing water of the Eastern Scheldt estuary makes it the ideal location in the Netherlands for generating tidal energy. The rhythmic ebb and flow of the estuary has very powerful water flows that will be used by Tocardo’s turbines for safe and reliable electricity generation. The turbines will be operational this autumn and have a total capacity of 1.2 MW, which will supply electricity to 1,000 households.

“This project marks an important step in the development of tidal energy. Tidal technology is innovative and could grow into a significant Dutch export product. With our turbines in the Eastern Scheldt storm surge barrier, we can now show the world what tidal energy is all about, namely providing a clean and reliable source of energy that could fulfil 10-20% of the world’s electricity needs,” says Tocardo CEO Hans van Breugel.

For this project, Tocardo is working with co-shareholder Huisman, the designers of the turbines’ suspension structure. Strukton has also been actively involved in the project planning from the outset and will be responsible for project management during installation. Another partner in the installation project is Mammoet, while Zeeland companies Istimewa Elektrotechniek, Van der Straaten and Hillebrand also play an important role in terms of the electro-technical installation and steel structures. Together with these partners, Tocardo has future plans to increase the number of turbines.

As manager of the Eastern Scheldt storm surge barrier, the Netherlands’ Department of Waterways and Public Works Rijkswaterstaat supports this innovative initiative to generate energy. Together with contractors, engineering firms and knowledge institutes, Rijkswaterstaat develops innovative solutions and whenever possible facilitates initiatives to test or build renewable energy installations.

The province of Zeeland has provided a significant financial contribution to the project.  Provincial representative Ben de Reu explains why: “Zeeland’s strength lies in its surrounding water. We are the only province with land in the sea, which is why tidal energy is such a good match for us.  The knowledge that we’re building here can be used in other delta regions across the globe.” This project has also received funding from the European Regional Development Fund, the Dutch government and the province of Zeeland as part of the Operational Programme for Zuid-Nederland (OP-Zuid). 

Tocardo is the global leader in tidal technology and aspires to be the market leader in tidal energy. Earlier this year, the Den Oever-based company installed three linked turbines in the Afsluitdijk, a 30 km long primary sea defence in the Netherlands, with a total capacity of 300 kW. Another Tocardo turbine in the Afsluitdijk has been providing electricity for over six years now. Together with Huisman, Tocardo markets its technology around the world, and so far it has sold its turbines to clients in Asia, among others. Tocardo is also involved in the development of tidal energy projects in North America and Europe, including the Isle of Man in the UK.