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New investment paves way for UK's first commercial-scale tidal farm

£3.5M of investment from Carbon Trust Investments Limited, Bank Invest, EDF Energy and High Tide will enable the construction of the first commercial tidal energy farm in UK waters within the next two years.

British tidal energy company Marine Current Turbines (MCT) has raised £3.5M from an investor group led by Carbon Trust Investments Limited and including Bank Invest, EDF Energy, High Tide and a group of significant private investors, to help MCT in its plans to deploy the UK’s first commercial tidal energy farm.

MCT is the developer of SeaGen, the world’s first and largest grid-connected system that extracts energy from tidal currents. Part of the new funding will support MCT’s first deployment of SeaGen in Northern Ireland’s Strangford Lough which has now been successfully operating for more than six months. The company is now also looking to export its technology abroad.

Carbon Trust chief executive Tom Delay said MCT is a key player in the UK’s growing marine energy sector.

“We have the natural resources, the technical skills, and the talent to lead the world in this kind of advanced green manufacturing.”

Energy and Climate Change Minister Lord Hunt

“MCT has developed one of the leading tidal energy devices and its proven technology is now ready to be deployed in a commercial-scale tidal farm which will be a UK first,” he said. “The UK is leading the way in marine energy and stands to reap the rewards through new jobs and revenue.”

Energy and Climate Change Minister Lord Hunt said there is enormous potential to be harnessed through wave and tidal power in the UK. “We have the natural resources, the technical skills, and the talent to lead the world in this kind of advanced green manufacturing, which I believe will be the economic success story of the 21st century.”

MCT managing director Martin Wright said: “We see this significant investment, allied by the Government’s actions to encourage tidal and wave energy, giving the company a massive boost to realise the commercial opportunities that exist in the UK as well as overseas markets.”

Making progress

MCT installed the world’s first commercial scale tidal stream turbine, the 1.2 MW SeaGen, in Strangford Lough in Northern Ireland in 2008. The device is now operating remotely and generating power that is being sold to ESB Independent Energy under a Power Purchase Agreement helping to supply businesses across Northern Ireland with renewable electricity.

The Carbon Trust’s investment is drawn from a new £18M fund, provided by the Department of Energy and Climate Change, announced by the Carbon Trust last month. The new fund is designed to speed up Britain’s move towards a low carbon economy by providing promising UK clean energy sector companies with investment over the next 12-18 months.

Readers' comments (5)

  • Wave Energy Update

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  • Great news. Come to Yorkshire the Humber could supply electricity for much of the north east. We can manufacture, install, and maintain. Yorkshire foreward but Leeds leads.

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  • Great news indeed.
    By the way Don, which league is it that Leeds lead?

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  • Sorry Tim Regan. Without doubt Yorkshire leads all other UK regions for investment. We have a history of inovation and and excelance in all things thack make money for investors. We leed in most things. If you wnt advice on smelling go to Man, what? utd.

    Regards Only jojing Don

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  • If the tide, a wave are energy, the seawater itself is magnesium, fuel.

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