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Industry News
Marine Current Turbines eyes lease for tidal energy

Marine Current Turbines intends to apply for a lease to deploy its tidal technology in Scotland's Pentland Firth. The company proposes to install potentially up to 50 MW of capacity by 2015.

Posted on: 11/24/2008
Source: CompositesWorld
Marine Current Turbines (MCT, Bristol, U.K.) on Nov. 20 confirmed that it intends to apply for a lease from the Crown Estate to deploy its tidal technology in Scotland's Pentland Firth. Subject to financing and securing the necessary approvals, Marine Current Turbines proposes to install potentially up to 50 MW of capacity by 2015, using its commercial-scale SeaGen technology, and up to 300 MW or more by 2020 if the local grid can take it.

To support its development ambitions in the Pentland Firth and in other parts of the U.K. and Ireland, and globally, Marine Current Turbines has appointed Cavendish Corporate Finance to secure new investment in the company. MCT's existing shareholders include ESB International, Guernsey Electricity, Triodos Bank and EDF Energy.

Martin Wright, managing director of MCT, said, "We welcome the Crown Estate's competition for the Pentland Firth. Given our experience with our SeaGen tidal project in Northern Ireland's Strangford Lough, we believe that we have a clear and substantial technical advantage as well as unique, practical experience of installing and running a commercial scale tidal power system."

In other MCT news, the company says SeaGen is moving into its final stage of testing (commissioning).  Two new replacement rotor blades have been fitted to the second of SeaGen's two 600-kW turbines and soon will start running and generating power under "test mode."  The other turbine has been generating power into the local grid, at varying levels up to its maximum of 600 kW, since the summer as part of its comprehensive commissioning work. 

Martin Wright, managing director of Marine Current Turbines, said, "We are on track for SeaGen to generate at full power within the next two to three weeks and we should complete the commissioning phase in January.  SeaGen will then be ready to generate power into the grid on a fully automated basis, typically 18 hours a day." ESB Independent, a subsidiary company of Ireland's ESB, is buying SeaGen's power for its customers in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

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