The SeaGen tidal energy system developed by Marine Current Turbines (MCT) has been named the first marine energy project to qualify for the United Kingdom's support for renewable energy.
MCT said British energy regulator OFGEM accredited its SeaGen system for Renewables Obligation Certificates (ROC). The Renewables Obligation compels utilities to provide a portion of their electricity from eligible renewable energy plants. In return, generators receive a Renewables Obligation Certificate for every megawatt of renewable energy. (HydroWorld 9/22/08)
"Securing ROCs accreditation is a significant step forward as it is the first time that a tidal current system has been officially recognized as a commercial power station," MCT Managing Director Martin Wright said. "Up until now, marine renewable technologies have not gone beyond the R&D phase. SeaGen has changed all that."
MCT installed a 1.2-MW SeaGen tidal energy system that entered full operation in December 2008 in Northern Ireland’s Strangford Lough. (HydroWorld 3/25/08) Additionally, MCT and npower renewables of the United Kingdom are collaborating to advance a 10.5-MW project using seven SeaGen turbines off the coast of Anglesey, North Wales.(HydroWorld 1/30/09)
SeaGen uses axial flow turbines to convert ocean currents into electricity. The high density of water compared to wind allows a much smaller system. SeaGen has twin 600 kilowatt turbines each of 16 meters in diameter.