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OpenHydro connects tidal turbine to UK grid

Jun 02, 2008 - Datamonitor

Irish company OpenHydro has announced that it has become the first company to complete the connection of a tidal turbine to the UK national grid and commence electricity generation.

This is claimed to be a first for both the UK and Ireland and in doing so OpenHydro has reportedly become one of the first companies in the world to reach this stage of technical maturity. OpenHydro's 250kW open-centre turbine, which is installed at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) off

Orkney, Scotland, commenced generation onto the grid.

The EMEC is reportedly the only independent and publicly financed facility in the world for testing tidal and wave technologies. OpenHydro has been testing the power generation of its open-centre turbine over the past 18 months at the EMEC.

OpenHydro noted that tests were performed with the turbine connected to the UK's electricity grid onto which power was generated for the first time. These initial tests were successfully completed and the turbine operated as expected.

The results from this phase of testing will be analyzed in detail, and over the coming weeks and months OpenHydro will move into extended operation consistent with its test program. The project's commercial deployments will be mounted on the seabed where no part of the structure will be visible from the surface and will be deep enough not to interfere with shipping traffic.

Brendan Gilmore, chairman of OpenHydro, said: "This is a hugely significant development not only for OpenHydro, but for the future of the tidal energy industry and security of energy supply. It is also a further major step in our program to deploy an array of 1MW turbines in Alderney, the Channel Islands, in 2009."


Updated: 2003/07/28