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Alstom tidal turbine reaches production milestone

Alstom Tidal Turbine

An Alstom tidal turbine has reached its full nominal output capacity of 1 MW after a series of gradual increases in power, the company said.

The unit -- being tested off the Orkney coast at the European Marine Energy Center (EMEC) -- first began producing energy in March.

Since then, Alstom (FR: ALO) said the unit has contributed more than 10 MWh to the grid while working in actual operating conditions.

"We are enthusiastic following the initial tests of our tidal stream turbine, which successfully demonstrated the advantages of Alstom tidal turbine technology in the challenging environment of the Fall of Warness in Orkney," Alstom Ocean vice president Rob Stevenson said.

Alstom said the unit has been tested in a number of operational conditions via the Energy Technologies Institute's ReDAPT (Reliable Acquisition Platform for Tidal) program, and shows reliability and performance as projected by studies using a 500 kW test unit deployed in March 2012.

Next, the company said, it will begin tests of the unit's autonomous capabilities, with tests in pilot farms to follow.

The tidal turbine units were originally developed by Rolls-Royce's Tidal Generation Limited (TGL), which Alstom acquired in January.

For more ocean, tidal and stream power news, visit here.

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