UK . RENEWABLES
Marine Current Turbines has secured £3.0 million in new equity funding enabling it to launch its programme to develop a pre-commercial successor to the ‘Seaflow’ poject, at 300 kW the world’s first large scale offshore tidal turbine. The new project, known as the ‘SeaGen’, will be a grid connected twin rotor machine intended to push the technology decisively towards the full commercial stage.
Although Seaflow has had the usual teething troubles, allowing its owners to prove that the unique servicing arrangement of lifting the rotor on a special hoist works very well, its performance has exceeded expectations. MCT report that the machine has reached its rated power of 300kW, has a rotor efficiency consistently in excess of 40% and the energy capture has been up to 25% better than expected. At any rate its performance has impressed existing investor EDF, who have increased their stake, and attracted new investors BankInvest, a Danish venture capital firm with a specialist energy focus, and Guernsey Electricity, who have access to one of the most energetic tidal sites in Europe.
New board member Jens Christian Mathiesen of BankInvest commented: “We are delighted to be involved with MCT, and see that the technology will make a considerable contribution to the development of renewable energy power systems. We are particularly attracted not only by the fundamentals of the technology and the predictable nature of the power production, but also by the management and the strong strategic partner base that they have already brought together.”