Energy futureMegawatt tidal turbine completed

Published 28 May 2008

U.K. maritime energy specialist completes installation of 1.2 MW tidal energy system off the shore of Northern Ireland; system to provide clean electricity equivalent to that used by 1,000 homes

Bristol-based Marine Current Turbines has successfully completed the installation of its 1.2 MW SeaGen tidal energy system in Strangford Narrows in Northern Ireland. There will be a 12-week period of commissioning and testing before it starts regularly feeding power into the Northern Ireland grid. After being positioned by the heavy-lift crane-barge in the early hours of 3 April there has been a 6-week operation to secure the 1,000 ton structure to the seabed and link up SeaGen’s grid connection to the electricity sub-station on the southern shore of Strangford Lough. The completion of the installation was achieved with the placing of the superstructure on top of SeaGen last week and the departure of the Missing Link support vessel which has now slipped its moorings and headed back out to the Irish Sea.

When fully operational the tidal system’s 16 meter diameter, twin rotors will operate for up to 18-20 hours a day to produce enough clean, green electricity, equivalent to that used by a 1,000 homes. This is four times greater than any other tidal stream project so far completed, including MCT’s earlier 300 kW Seaflow system installed off Lynmouth in Devon in 2003.