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Turbine Demonstration Project




The past energy crisis in Tasmania highlights the volatility of electricity production based on conventional sources of energy and the need to find new and better solutions to electricity supply.  That day is coming soon! 

The primary aim of this commercial research study is to develop a cost effective means for generating electricity from the tides, with the ultimate goal of supplying electricity to the grid.

MAKO Tidal Turbines is excited to team up with the Australian Maritime College (AMC) and AMC Search (AMCS) to undertake this multi-phased research initiative.  AMC’s extensive ocean energy industry knowledge, their academic and scientific credentials, along with their technology testing facilities made them a natural choice as our research partner.  In turn, the opportunity to collaborate with MAKO Tidal Turbines helps AMC move closer to establishing the first ocean energy testing and demonstration site in the Southern Hemisphere.  

Turbine Demonstration Project


MAKO Turbine Tamar River Research

Project Teamwork

Project Teamwork

AMC Team Members support MAKO turbine testing

Turbine Assembly

Turbine Assembly

MAKO turbine lifted to barge

Preparing to Launch

Preparing to Launch

Turbine and barge ready to depart for testing

Turbine Test

Turbine Test

Turbine tow test under way

Media Day

Media Day

From left: MAKO Managing Director, Douglas Hunt; AMCS Executive Officer, Dean Cook; MAKO Program Director, Stephanie Thornton

MAKO Community Engagement

MAKO Community Engagement

Community discussion about tidal energy development

MAKO Turbine Tamar River Research

MAKO Turbine Tamar River Research



Our vision is to supply predictable, clean electricity for homes and businesses in Tasmania as well as other locations throughout Australia and the world.  To accomplish this, we are undertaking a multi-phased research initiative to gain critical knowledge about the factors required for success of our technology.

Specifically, we will be researching:

  • Technical Performance: evaluating how much electricity the turbine produces in varying conditions, optimisation of turbine design and performance, and operating by remote controls including satellite.

  • Operating Conditions: how the turbine responds in varying water flows, weather conditions and physical surroundings, such as turbulence.

  • Environmental Analysis:  evaluating the interaction of the turbine in the biological community.  A comprehensive environmental monitoring program has been designed.  MAKO and AMC will be keen to demonstrate the turbine’s minimal environmental impact on the marine ecology of the estuary and its inhabitants.



The Tamar Estuary was chosen as our initial research location for the following reasons:

  • AMC’s ocean energy scientific expertise, support infrastrucuture and 3rd party validation of MAKO's research.

  • Collaborative commercial research with AMC and their enthusiastic interest to become our research “partner”.   AMC has received the necessary approvals to conduct this research from marine authorities Marine and Safety Tasmania (MAST) and TasPorts, and the support of regional natural resource management body NRM North.

  • Ability to test in a variety of conditions – from prototype testing in AMC’s tow-tank to stationary in-water moorings.  This provides us an opportunity to slowly grow the capacity of our turbine.

Early Results

  • Electricity production.  The MAKO turbine is effective at producing electricity in low tidal flows.

  • Mechanics and operations.  Once in place, the MAKO turbine was easy to assemble and to install at the test location.

  • Environmental interaction.  There were no observed marine life interactions during deployment.

  • Virtual data collection and operation.  The satellite and communication systems were highly effective in collecting, storing and reporting performance data.




After seven (7) months of continuous research, MAKO and AMC concluded the final phase of successful research.  All data will be analysed and the results used to test the next generation of MAKO turbines. 

Project Contact:

Stephanie Thornton, MAKO Program Director
M: +61 0458 684 018

Additional Supporting Activities

Asian Wave and Tidal Energy Conference (AWTEC)

October 23, 2016

Asian Wave and Tidal Energy Conference (AWTEC) Singapore.  MAKO Managing Director, Doug Hunt, showcases MAKO tidal turbines.

Australian Ocean Renewable Energy Symposium (AORES)

October 17, 2016

Australian Ocean Renewable Energy Symposium (AORES) in Melbourne, sponsored by CSIRO.  MAKO and AMC co-presentation of research activities and results.

Community Information Event

October 13, 2016

Community Information Event (open to the public) - The Auld Kirk Church, Sidmouth

Media Day at AMC

October 12, 2016

Media Day at AMC.  AMC & MAKO project presentation to media

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