Paul Taylor: World’s first commercial-scale tidal stream turbine set to be installed. Bristol-based Marine Current Turbines (MCT) is set to deploy its 1.2MW SeaGen Tidal System in Strangford Narrows, Northern Ireland on Easter Monday. Producing enough clean energy for 1000 homes (when fully operational), this will be the first, commercial scale, tidal stream turbine installed and operating anywhere in the world. It will generate one of the most environmentally-friendly forms of energy – it makes no noise, is almost completely below the surface, never runs out and has zero emissions.
A British invention, SeaGen, will be installed by the crane barge Rambiz, operated by the Belgium company Scaldis, and overseen by MCT’s own in-house engineering team in partnership with SeaRoc Ltd, a leading firm of marine engineering consultants. The exercise, which will take up to 14 days and is subject to local weather conditions and final engineering work, is scheduled to start on 22nd March when the Rambiz barge sails with SeaGen loaded on board from Belfast’s Harland & Wolff shipyard to Strangford Lough, arriving the following morning. SeaGen is scheduled to be deployed on the seabed on 24th March (in the morning) and work will then start on fixing it to the seabed. Final commissioning will take up to 12 weeks.
The project and press offices for the installation will be located in Portaferry. A press release and photos will be issued upon SeaGen’s deployment in the Narrows. Timings and installation schedule will be re-confirmed closer to the time.