ESBI signs up for tidal energy project

ESB International (ESBI) has entered into an agreement with Marine Current Turbines (MCT) to develop an initial phase of a 100MW tidal energy project off the Antrim coast in Northern Ireland.

Dublin-based ESBI and MCT will collaborate on the submission of a proposal to the forthcoming Marine Leasing Round in Northern Ireland to secure an Agreement for Lease from The Crown Estate to commence formal consenting of the project.

If successful, and subject to the achievement of consent, the initial phase of the project, which will use the MCT SeaGen device, could be in operation by 2018.

SeaGen is claimed to be the largest and most powerful tidal stream turbine in the world and the only one that is regularly generating electricity, having been accredited by OFGEM, the UK industry regulator, as a power station.

The 1.2MW turbine has been operating in Northern Ireland’s Strangford Lough since April 2008 and last month achieved another operational milestone by delivering its two millionth kWh of power to the grid.