India does not experience substantial coastal tides with the exception of the North West of the country where the coast of Gujarat state has the highest tides in the Arabian Sea and has long been identified as a potential area suited to the development of tidal power.
This was first investigated in 1975 through a UN sponsored research programme. The two areas identified with the highest tides are the Gulf of Kutch which experiences a spring tidal range of 7m and the Gulf of Khambhat which has a spring tidal range of over 9m.
Both areas may be suited to tidal lagoon infrastructure. The Gulf of Khambhat has a number of potentially large lagoon sites, particularly on the Western Coast of the Gulf in relatively shallow water.
Following initial field studies in 2015 and discussions with the Government of the state of Gujarat, Tidal Lagoon Power has been invited to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding to undertake feasibility work on the possibility of three tidal lagoons in the Gulf of Khambhat with a total potential installed capacity in excess of 16GW.
TLP has a joint venture with SIMEC, one of its principal investors with substantial interests in the India, to develop the opportunities in the Gulf of Khambhat.
While specific policies for tidal power have not yet been developed, the Government of Gujarat is advanced in its thinking based on the development work it has completed for the Kalpasar dam project in the Bay of Khambhat, designed to hold fresh water in the north of the Gulf for irrigation purposes. The work completed by the project Secretariat has established many environmental, construction and social precedents that can be utilised for the development of lagoon projects.
* Feature image: courtesy of Gujarat Tourism