Ireland’s Large-Scale Tidal Project Secures $15 M Investment

Marine Current Turbines Ltd., the developer of the world’s first commercial-scale sub-sea turbine, has secured GBP 7.5 million [US$15 million] of new financial investment. The new backers include Triodos Bank, which is making a first-ever investment in marine renewable energy.

Triodos joins long-term investors EDF Energy, BankInvest and Guernsey Electricity in backing Marine Current Turbines as the company prepares to install its 1.2-megawatt (MW) SeaGen tidal stream turbine in Northern Ireland in August.

Earlier this month, Marine Current Turbines confirmed the installation date for the SeaGen tidal current system in Northern Ireland’s Strangford Lough. SeaGen consists of twin axial flow rotors, each of 16-meter (m) diameter driving a generator via a gearbox much like a hydroelectric turbine or a wind turbine.

The twin power units of each system are mounted on wing-like extensions either side of a tubular steel monopile 3m in diameter which is set into a hole drilled into the seabed.

SeaGen is four times as powerful as the world’s previous most powerful turbine, SeaFlow, which Marine Current Turbines has been operating off Lynmouth in Devon since 2003; SeaGen will form the basis for the commercial projects that will follow. SeaGen, which is being assembled at Harland & Wolff in Belfast, will be connected to the local electricity grid and have the capacity to generate clean and predictable power for approximately 1,000 homes.

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