World's first tidal turbine for Northern Ireland

Posted: 1 April 2008

Installation has begun off the coast of Northern Ireland of what is claimed to be the first commercial tidal-stream application anywhere in the world.

SeaGen is a tidal-powered turbine which generates electricity from tidal currents. It is has been developed by the the UK company Marine Current Turbine, based in Bristol. It is installing the device in Strangford Lough, off the coast of Northern Ireland.

Seagen with cross arm fitted
Seagen with cross arm fitted
Seagen with cross arm fitted at Harland & Wolf. Photo © Marine Current Turbines TM Ltd
The turbine harnesses power from the tidal stream. The underwater movement of the tidal flow turns the turbine like an underwater windmill, producing a clean and secure energy source which will provide enough electricity to power around 1000 homes.

Steph Merry, Head of Marine at the REA energy group, said "The installation of Seagen demonstrates to the world the quality of UK engineering and innovation and shows the UK has the potential to surge ahead with marine renewables."

The UK is estimated to have 50 per cent of Europe's tidal and 35 per cent of its wave resources and could potentially meet up to a fifth of the UK's electricity needs from this renewable source.

Steph Merry said, "The government must take care to ensure that we maintain and build on this global lead. And that we fully harness the UK's exceptional marine renewables potential."

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