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Crown Estate OK's Ireland's First Tidal Energy Plant

Marine turbine manufacturer OpenHydro and Irish utility Bord Gais have been granted exclusive rights to develop a 100-MW tidal energy farm off Torr Head on the north coast of Antrim.

The hydrokinetic project, made possible by The Crown Estate as part of Northern Ireland's Offshore Renewable Energy Strategic Tidal Plan, is expected to be complete by 2020.

"We are delighted to be awarded the lease to develop what could be the first tidal energy farm in the island of Ireland," says OpenHydro Chief Executive Officer James Ives.

The joint venture will be called Tidal Ventures Ltd., combining OpenHydro's tidal turbine technology with Bord Gais' experience in delivering large-scale infrastructure energy projects, Ives says.

Tidal Ventures says it applied for the lease during a Crown Estate leasing round in December 2011.

HydroWorld.com reported in September 2011 that OpenHydro and utility Electricite de France (EDF) had begun testing a 2-MW unit off the northern Brittany coast.

OpenHydro is also working on the 1-MW Admiralty Inlet Pilot Tidal project, which is to be installed in Washington's Puget Sound.

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