Carbon Trust swells marine firm funds
A £2.7m grant has been awarded to one of the world's largest tidal energy systems in Northern Ireland.
Marine Current Turbines (MCT) was handed the money by the Carbon Trust to enhance its Seagen operation at the mouth of Strangford Lough.
SeaGen has the capacity to generate 1.2MW of electricity.
The lough has one of the world's fastest tidal flows and the firm says the turbine can produce electricity for 1,000 homes.
MCT managing director Martin Wright said: “Securing the Marine Renewables Proving Fund funding is another strong vote of confidence in our SeaGen technology and importantly we are proving that our SeaGen technology works extremely well, supplying power to commercial customers on daily basis.”
MCT intends to manufacture and deploy a series of SeaGen devices in projects off Anglesey and on the Canadian seaboard within the next two to four years.
Mr Wright added: “The experience that we are gaining from SeaGen's real-time operation is of enormous value as we seek to improve its efficiency and operational capabilities in advance of deploying further turbines into our first tidal farms.
“The Carbon Trust funding will be used to assess SeaGen's operation, our engineering processes, construction and installation techniques and assist us in reviewing and evaluating a range of other important issues.”
The Carbon Trust's investment is drawn from a new £18m fund, provided by the Department of Energy and Climate Change, announced by the Carbon Trust in December. It is designed to speed up Britain's move towards a low carbon economy.