The Northern Territory Government has granted Darwin-based Tenax Energy Pty Limited a licence to carry out an environmental impact study for a tidal power plant in an area of the Clarence Strait about 50 kilometres north-east of Darwin.

Tenax is proposing to install more than 450 generators across 1,690 hectares of the seabed and connect then to the Northern Territory electricity grid by 2 kilometre-long underground cables.

The Clarence Strait was selected because it has the greatest tidal velocity near Darwin, with tidal movements of up to 5 metres, and the minimum 20 metres depth needed for Tenax’s proposed generators.

The company believes that the area has the potential to generate enough electricity for almost 200,000 homes – more than the total in the Northern Territory.

Tenax is also proposing tide power plants for Banks Strait in Tasmania and Port Phillip Heads in Victoria.