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SeaGen tidal energy system reaches full power

Dec 31, 2008 - RenewableEnergyFocus.com

STRANGFORD LOUGH, N. IRELAND, UK - SeaGen, developed by Marine Current Turbines, has for the first time generated at its maximum capacity of 1.2 MW.

According to Marine Current Turbines, “this is the highest power so far produced by a tidal stream system anywhere in the world and exceeds the previous highest output of 300 kW produced in 2004 by Marine Current Turbines’ earlier SeaFlow system, off the north Devon coast.”

SeaGen was deployed in Northern Ireland’s Strangford Lough in May 2008 and has since undergone commissioning trials. As SeaGen has now reached full power it will move towards full-operating mode for periods of up to 22 hours a day, with regular inspections and performance testing undertaken as part of the project’s development programme. The testing programme for SeaGen is being validated by the international marine classification society Det Norsk Veritas (DNV).

The power generated by SeaGen is being purchased by Irish energy company, ESB Independent, for its customers in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

Drawing on its experience of Strangford Lough, Marine Current Turbines’ next project, announced early 2008, is a joint initiative with npower renewables to take forward a 10.5 MW project using seven SeaGen turbines off the coast of Anglesey, north Wales. It is hoped the tidal farm will be commissioned around 2011/2012.

Using its SeaGen technology, the company is also investigating the potential for tidal energy schemes in other parts of the UK and Ireland, and in North America.