Statement: 7 February 2013
Neptune was set up in 2005 as a development company for tidal stream power generation, using a new, niche concept and approach. The hope was that following further development of the concept, building and deploying a full-scale experimental demonstrator, followed by testing and evaluation, this would lead to the deployment of arrays of the devices, for commercial purposes.
The full-scale demonstrator was deployed in the Humber estuary in January 2012 and since that time has been subject to much testing and a number of modifications.
The Directors became aware towards the end of last year that the device would not be able to achieve a high enough level of electrical output, despite indications to the contrary resulting from earlier work done at fortieth and tenth scale.
Since November, a significant amount of work has been carried out, some independently, to establish the reasons for the technical problems and to understand whether the company was facing issues of adjustment and tuning, rather than a challenge to the overall concept of using a vertical axis turbine within a duct, in estuarine locations. This work has included looking at an alternative lift turbine, rather than drag turbine.
The Directors have been obliged to accept that that the chosen approach is technically flawed and therefore not suitable for the development of commercial arrays. They have therefore accepted that there is no commercial value in pursuing the project any further. The Directors are confident that all options and approaches have been investigated thoroughly.
The Directors of Neptune Renewable Energy Ltd have therefore been obliged to consult an insolvency practitioner and to place the company into liquidation.
Nigel Petrie, Chairman of the Neptune Renewable Energy, said: "Since establishing a base in Hull, the company has been met with the utmost courtesy and has been supported and helped to the fullest possible extent by a range of organisations, both public and private. The Directors are most grateful for this and regret the fact that the company cannot continue further with the project."
Neptune Renewable Energy was set up in 2005 and has been funded almost entirely by private investors.
The company deployed its full-scale experimental demonstrator in January 2012 close to The Deep. The plan was to supply the attraction with around a third of its power. Some power has been supplied to The Deep, but intermittently between modifications to the device.
The company had intended to deploy a tidal stream array in the Humber over the next two years that would have supplied power to large industrial customers, and to then roll out the technology to other suitable sites around the UK.