The Cardiff-based company’s device will provide electricity to the local distribution network during its 12-month test period, with the potential to power up to 1,000 homes.
According to Tidal Energy, DeltaStream rests on the seabed without the need for a positive anchoring system, generating electricity from three separate horizontal-axis turbines mounted on a common frame.
The use of three turbines on a single, 30m-wide, triangular frame produces a low centre of gravity that stops the device overturning and sliding.
Approval to deploy the device was given yesterday by energy secretary Chris Huhne.
‘The UK’s great marine heritage and our engineering genius make the potential for wave and tidal energy here vast,’ said Huhne. ‘We must make the most of our natural marine resource — not just to cut our emissions but to boost energy security and create jobs.’
Separately, Marine Current Turbines (MCT) has secured an agreement for lease from the Crown Estate for a four-turbine tidal farm in Kyle Rhea — a strait of water between the Isle of Skye and the Scottish mainland.
The project is likely to have a maximum power of 8MW and have the capacity to generate electricity for up to 8,000 homes in the Highlands and Islands by harnessing the power of the fast tidal currents that pass through Kyle Rhea.
MCT is aiming to deploy the £40m Kyle Rhea tidal farm by 2014.