Work to start on Fair Head tidal energy project in 2018
A massive tidal energy project on the seabed off Northern Ireland's north coast should begin in 2018, developers said.
Cork-based DP Energy hopes to install a 100 megawatt (MW) array of turbines off Fair Head.
It would generate enough electricity to power the equivalent of 70,000 homes.
Clodagh McGrath, DP Energy's project manager said: "The Fair Head tidal development strategy is to progress with a 100MW offshore consent application and build the project out in phases, planned to commence in 2018.
"In the last three years we have engaged with a wide range of project stakeholders including local communities and government departments."
The company is consulting with communities in Ballycastle and Rathlin Island before it submits its planning application.
Ms McGrath added: "We will of course continue this engagement process as we finalise our plans and look forward to hosting more local open days this spring before we complete our application.
"At these open days we will be sharing details on the surveys completed, the proposed tidal energy technologies and how we plan to bring the energy ashore and connect into the national electricity grid."
The proposed technology is a further development of that used in Strangford Lough in Co Down, which is due to be decommissioned soon.