PRIVATE companies are set to join forces with the Isle of Wight Council to develop tidal energy facilities off the south of the Island.
The authority plans to form a joint venture company with private sector partners, which will remain confidential until the deal is signed, to deliver the Solent Ocean Energy Centre (SOEC) project.
They would invest £1m, adding to the £1m the council has committed to the project and £700,000 of European funding.
As previously reported, the council’s SOEC project could create more than 200 Island jobs over its lifetime.
It would also enhance the Island’s reputation as a centre of excellence in renewable technologies and an innovative place for businesses to invest, according to the council.
It is hoped prototype turbines, placed on the seabed off St Catherine’s Point, will be commercially operational by April, 2016.
If the facility proves successful, a tidal farm capable of generating 200-300MW of power could be built nearby.
A decision on establishing the joint venture company will be made by the council cabinet next week.