County Down, Ireland [RenewableEnergyWorld.com] The world’s first commercial-scale tidal turbine, located in Northern Ireland’s Strangford Lough and developed by British tidal energy company, Marine Current Turbines (MCT), has delivered electricity onto the grid for the first time.
The tidal current turbine, known as SeaGen, has briefly generated 150 kilowatts (kW) of power into the grid as part of its commissioning work, before it is planned to reach full capacity in a few weeks.
SeaGen’s power is being intentionally constrained to 300 kW during the commissioning phase, but once fully operational, it will potentially generate 1.2 megawatts (MW) of power.
“This is an important milestone for the company and indeed the development of the marine renewable energy sector as a whole,” said Martin Wright, Managing Director of Marine Current Turbines.
Marine Current Turbines expects that the present testing and commissioning phase will be completed by the end of the summer and an official “switch on” will take place. Irish energy company, ESB Independent Energy, is purchasing the power generated by SeaGen for its customers in Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic.
Last week, RenewableEnergyWorld.com reported on the Anaconda, another device that harvests energy from waves. While the Anaconda is still in early development, when coupled with SeaGen, the devices indicate that tidal energy is a promising renewable energy technology.