In with the tide

Bristol-based tidal energy company Marine Current Turbines is applying for a lease from the Crown Estate to install its tidal technology in Scotland’s Pentland Firth.


Bristol-based tidal energy company Marine Current Turbines (MCT) is applying for a lease from the Crown Estate to install its tidal technology in Scotland’s Pentland Firth.



The company is proposing to use its SeaGen technology to provide 50MW of electricity by 2015 and up to 300MW by 2020, depending on local grid capacity.



According to MCT, SeaGen is the world’s first 1.2MW commercial-scale grid-connected tidal stream energy system. The system is in its final stages of commissioning and will have the capacity to generate enough electricity to power 1,000 homes.



Martin Wright, managing director of MCT said: ‘Harnessing the power of the Pentland Firth will be challenging and there are still substantial issues, in particular financing and grid connection, which will have to be addressed.


‘However, the move by the Crown Estate is a significant and welcome step forward if the UK is to harness the sea’s energy potential on a truly commercial basis.’



MCT has previously secured leases from the Crown Estate for its 300kW SeaFlow off Lynmouth, Devon, and its 1.2MW SeaGen in Strangford Lough.



The project will be subject to the necessary approvals, including comprehensive environmental impact assessments, proving the company’s design, technical and operational credentials.



To support its proposal, MCT is seeking new investment and has appointed Cavendish Corporate Finance to secure funding.


MCT’s current shareholders include ESB International, Guernsey Electricity, Triodos Bank and EDF Energy.