Survey of Energy Resources 2007
Tidal Country Notes
It was announced in mid-2005 that the country's first tidal power plant was to be constructed at Sihwa-Lake, 25 km southwest of Seoul on the western coast of the Peninsula, with the Korea Water Resources Corporation acting as project developer.
The artificial lake was created between 1987 and 1994 to provide water for agricultural purposes. A dam curtailing the tidal currents was constructed but the quality of the water deteriorated, becoming heavily polluted following a rise in local industry and a consequent increase in factory wastes.
A sophisticated plan has been formulated whereby the power plant will utilise the head between high tide on one side and the level of the lake on the other. The scheme will not only provide generation of electricity but also environmental improvements and tourist attractions. The Korean Energy Economics Institute reported in April 2007 that construction of the 254 MW plant will be completed by July 2008 and that annual power generation is expected to be in the region of 550 GWh. On completion Sihwa-Lake will be the world's largest tidal energy plant.
In May 2007 the city of Incheon announced that it had signed an MOU with Korea Midland Power Co. and Daewoo Engineering and Construction to build the Ganghwa tidal plant. At 812 MW, the 32-generator plant would overtake the Sihwa-Lake project to be the world's largest tidal scheme when the plant becomes operational - planned for 2015. A 7.8 km long dam will connect four islands: Ganghwa, Gyodong, Seokmo and Seogeom.