The SeaGen project, developed by Bristol, UK-based Marine Current Turbines, is due to be installed during 2006.

The five-year pre-commercial pilot project follows sea trials of the 300kW SeaFlow system that has been running off the north Devon coast for the past two and a half years. Strangford Lough has one of the strongest tidal currents in the UK and Ireland.

The project is being supported by a £4.75M (US$8.3M) grant from the UK’s DTI while EDF Energy recently announced that it has increased its investment in Marine Current Turbines by £2M (US$3.5M) in order to back the commercial development of the SeaGen tidal current device.

In a statement EDF Energy said that it is keen to develop the new technology to gauge its potential future commercial application as a tidal farm with up to 30 turbines.