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Scotland based hydropower engineering firm to test new hydrokinetic turbine at Amazon River site

Scotland-based engineering firm MTDS has selected the Amazon River in Brazil as the demonstration site for a prototype hydrokinetic turbine designed to produce hydroelectric energy from slow flowing rivers, regional media reported.

MTDS is based in Achlibster in Caithness, close to the Pentland Firth, where marine energy devices are to be installed as part of a major project.

Recently, marine energy firms were named successful bidders for wave and tidal energy farm development leases in UK waters. The Crown Estate announced the names of winning bidders, which are part of the world's first commercial wave and tidal leasing round.

The new MTDS turbine uses vertical rotors, like revolving doors. According to the company, because the turbine’s blades move at about the same speed as the current, efficiency is maximized and potential marine life impacts are reduced or removed.

A full-scale version of the device will be built for a 12-month demonstration project on the Amazon. The components of the full-scale prototype, at nearly 50 tons and nearly 20ft (6m) wide, are to be manufactured in Caithness, Scotland. The components then will be shipped to Brazil and built and installed by the Scottish team by late 2010, regional media reported.

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