The SeaGen tidal energy system, developed and deployed by Marine Current Turbines, has become the first marine renewable energy project to be accredited by OFGEM for Renewable Energy Certificates (ROCs).
ROCs require electricity suppliers to source a percentage of the electricity they supply from renewable sources.
SeaGen, a 1.2MW twin-turbine tidal energy system, was deployed in Northern Ireland’s Strangford Lough in May 2008 and is generating power for the equivalent of about 1,000 homes via the local grid. It works by generating power from sea currents, using a pair of axial flow turbines driving generators through gearboxes using similar principles to wind generator technology.
Martin Wright, managing director of Marine Current Turbines, said: ‘Securing ROCs accreditation is a significant step forward as it is the first time that a tidal current system has been officially recognised as a commercial power station. Up until now, marine renewable technologies have not gone beyond the R&D phase. SeaGen has changed all that.’
‘We have had our challenges with the SeaGen project and we know that we still have much to do to ensure that our technology is deployed on a truly commercial basis. However, the ROCs accreditation is a positive signal that tidal energy will play a part in the country’s future energy mix.’