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SeaGen bringing tidal turbine power to Northern Ireland

wave.jpgStrangford Lough. To Greenbang, that name sounds like a retired Scottish laird, sitting in a crumbling castle as the highland winds whip past his 300 year old whisky collection. Either that or a shiny-toothed, hyperactive MTV USA presenter. Needless to say Greenbang’s imagination has got the better of her, and it’s actually the Northern Irish site of Marine Current Turbines’ first commercial scale tidal turbine renewable energy system.

The company said earlier this year that it planned to get the 1.2 MW system up and running by the end of this month and, The Independent has reported this week, it’s only gone and done it, by jove.

The system will soon be fitted to Strangford Lough’s grid and supply electricity for 1000 homes in the area.

The Indy describes the tidal system as “an 122ft- long contraption – looking like an upside-down windmill” and the first of its kind in the world.

Here’s a bit more about the device, named SeaGen, from Marine Current Turbines:

The method of installing the 1.2MW SeaGen device in Strangford Lough has been adapted to enable it to be deployed by a crane barge rather than a larger jack-up vessel. SeaGen will be installed by the crane barge Rambiz, operated by the Belgium company Scaldis, and overseen by MCT’s own inhouse engineering team in partnership with SeaRoc Ltd, a leading firm of marine engineering consultants. The exercise, which will take up to 14 days, is scheduled to start on March 23 when the Rambiz barge sails with SeaGen loaded on board from Belfast to Strangford Lough.

The additional fabrication engineering work on SeaGen has been carried out by Scottish firm Burntisland Fabrications Ltd and the final phase of the engineering assembly and mobilization activity will be undertaken by Harland & Wolff in Belfast before being collected by the Rambiz barge. Once installed and during the 12 week commissioning phase, a team of environmental scientists from Royal Haskoning, Queen’s University Belfast and St Andrew’s Sea Mammal Research Unit will be in Strangford Lough to closely monitor SeaGen’s operation and its interaction with marine life.[…]

At 1.2MW capacity, MCT’s SeaGen is the world’s largest tidal current device by a significant margin.

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