Tidal turbine to go ahead

The world's first turbine to create commercial amounts of electricity from water will be installed off the coast of Northern Ireland in March.

Original plans to install the SeaGen in Strangford Lough were up on hold in 2007 after the company behind the plan struggled to find a vehicle that could successfully put the turbine in place.

Now, the BBC has reported that makers Marine Current Turbines have secured a crane barge at the end of March to install the unit.

According to the broadcaster, the turbine has the capacity to generate 1.2 megawatts of electricity, nearly four times as much as any existing tidal turbine.

Martin Wright, managing director of MCT, explained that there was already extensive interest in the project and that the scheme could act as a catalyst to new energy generation ideas.

He told the BBC: “We have carried out extensive engineering and environmental studies to ensure the very best means of installation and operation.

“As long as the weather is good and there are no last minute operational issues to contend with, we should have SeaGen deployed by the end of March.”

Once installed, the turbine will only turn slowly to ensure wildlife is not put in danger.

James Cooper

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