British tidal energy company Marine Current Turbines Ltd, the developer of SeaGen, the world’s largest and most advanced tidal stream energy system, has signed a cooperation agreement with Canada’s BC Tidal Energy Corporation to deploy its SeaGen tidal energy technology in waters off Vancouver, British Columbia.
The announcement comes hot on the heels of the company’s agreement, announced on October 30th, to develop a tidal power project in Nova Scotia’s Bay of Fundy, on Canada’s eastern seaboard.
Marine Current Turbines and BC Tidal Energy Corporation plans to install at least three 1.2 MW turbines in Vancouver’s Campbell River by 2009, subject to gaining the necessary consents. The three turbines would generate power equivalent to the needs of 3000 homes and would be the first step in developing larger tidal farms either on the Campbell River or other tidal waters along the coastline of British Columbia. It is estimated that the tidal energy potential in British Columbia is in the region of 4000MW, making it one of the best areas for tidal energy anywhere in the world.
Martin Wright, Managing Director of Marine Current Turbines said: “Working with our Canadian partners, MCT is in a very strong position to deploy its pioneering clean electricity generation technology on both sides of Canada. SeaGen is the first and only commercial scale tidal device ready for deployment anywhere in the world. We have an unrivalled depth of expertise in tidal stream generation which is recognised by our partners and governments. The Canadian agreements highlight the significant business opportunities that exist for MCT and indeed other UK companies in the marine energy sector, in other parts of the world.”
The new partnership has been welcomed by the Campbell River Mayor, Roger McDonell: “I see the signing of this agreement as a positive step in the development of ocean energy for British Columbia and Canada. We have the resource at our doorstep. We have a mature and capable ocean industry and scientific community in British Columbia. The economic opportunity is still wide open in this exciting new energy sector. It means new jobs and green power that is as reliable and predictable as the tides.”
1. Marine Current Turbines Ltd (www.marineturbines.com) is based in Bristol, England. The company was established in 2000 and its principal corporate shareholders include BankInvest, EDF Energy, Guernsey Electricity and Triodos Bank. With SeaFlow, the word’s first offshore tidal stream device and SeaGen, the world’s largest grid-connected tidal stream system, MCT is the “first mover” in the development of tidal turbines and has a significant global technical lead in this field.
2. BC Tidal Energy Corporation BC Tidal Energy Corp and its sister company, Canoe Pass Tidal Energy Corp are developers of tidal current projects in British Columbia.
3. At 1.2MW capacity, MCT’s SeaGen is the world’s largest tidal current device by a significant margin, with the unit able to generate clean and sustainable electricity equivalent to the average needs of approximately 1000 homes. It is also a world first in being the prototype for commercial technology to be replicated on a large scale over the next few years.
4. SeaGen has been built and is awaiting final assembly at Harland & Wolff’s shipyard in Belfast. A single SeaGen device is expected to be deployed in Strangford Lough, Northern Ireland, during the first quarter of 2008. The project has been partially financed by the UK Government through BERR (formerly the DTI).
5. The 4000MW tidal capacity in British Columbia waters is a figure published by Triton Consultants Ltd in its report “Canada Ocean Energy Atlas (Phase 1), Potential; Tidal Current Energy Resources, Analysis Background”, Vancouver, BC, March 30, 2006.