His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales has visited Marine Current Turbines’ SeaGen, the world leading marine current and tidal stream technology that is deployed in Northern Ireland’s Strangford Lough and generating power into the local grid on a daily basis.
HRH was greeted (May 13th) by Mr David Lindsay the Lord-Lieutenant for County Down and went on to meet Mrs Arlene Foster MLA Minister of Enterprise, Trade and Investment, Martin Wright Managing Director of Marine Current Turbines (MCT), and Professor Peter Gregson DL President and Vice-Chancellor Queen’s University Belfast. The Queen’s Marine Research facility at Portaferry, on the shore of Strangford Lough, provides an operating and monitoring base for MCT and offers research assistance to the company in its operation of SeaGen.
His Royal Highness attended a short presentation on the SeaGen project from MCT’s Martin Wright and colleagues and then sailed out to the turbine, accompanied by Martin, to see the project in its operational environment.
Notes to Editors:
1. Marine Current Turbines Ltd (www.marineturbines.com) is based in Bristol, England. The company was established in 2000 and its principal corporate shareholders include BankInvest, Carbon Trust Investments, EDF Energy, ESB International, Guernsey Electricity, High Tide and Siemens Energy.
2. In September 2009, MCT was ranked the world’s top tidal energy company in The Guardian/Clean Tech Global 100 Survey and in June 2009 won Renewable Energy Developer of the Year in the UK Renewable Energy Association Annual Awards.
3. MCT’s 1.2MW SeaGen was deployed in Northern Ireland’s Strangford Lough in April 2008; it has the capacity to generate power for the equivalent of about 1500 homes. It works in principle much like an “underwater windmill” with the rotors driven by the power of the tidal currents rather than the wind. The SeaGen turbine is subject to a rigorous monitoring programme imposed under its licensing conditions to ensure it does not threaten the marine life of Strangford Lough where it is located.
4. SeaGen is accredited by OFGEM as a UK power station and so is a recipient of Renewable Obligation Certificates (ROCs).
5. Since February 2008, MCT has partnered RWE npower renewables on plans to develop a 10MW tidal farm in waters off Anglesey, north Wales and is working with Minas Bay Pulp & Paper to deploy a single SeaGen system in Canada’s Bay of Fundy.
6. In March 2010, MCT secured approval for a lease from The Crown Estate to deploy its SeaGen tidal current technology off Brough Ness, on the southern most tip of the Orkney Islands (South Ronaldsay) and north east of John O’Groats. The company plans to have its first phase of SeaGen tidal turbines deployed there during 2017 with the whole scheme operational by 2020.
For further information:
Marine Current Turbines (www.marineturbines.com)
Martin Wright, Managing Director
Tel: 0117 979 1888 / 07785 340671
Paul Taylor (Taylor Keogh Communications)
Tel: 020 3170 8466 / 07966 782611