Minister Visits SeaGen Tidal Energy Turbine (UK)

Minister Visits SeaGen Tidal Energy Turbine (UK)

Northern Ireland’s Environment Minister, Alex Attwood MLA, today visited, for the first time, the Siemens-owned SeaGen tidal energy turbine at Strangford Lough.

Minister Attwood climbed aboard SeaGen and met members of the SeaGen project team, who explained how the technology operates and the work that has been carried out locally to develop this pioneering green energy solution.

Commenting on the SeaGen tidal energy turbine Minister Attwood said:

 “SeaGen is the birthplace of modern tidal power. It advertises how renewables is arguably our single greatest economic opportunity. Through research, innovation, electricity and self-sufficiency the scale of the opportunity is immense: SeaGen captures the opportunity and we need to fully grasp it.”

 “It is a credit to the Northern Irish businesses who were involved in its original assembly and deployment of this pioneering project. Queen’s University Marine Laboratory in Portaferry has also been hugely valuable in monitoring and assessing.”

 “This tidal energy turbine generates over 20MWh of clean green energy on a daily basis which demonstrates the massive potential there is for low-carbon technologies such as Sea Gen to deliver both environmental and economic benefits to Northern Ireland and other parts of the world. In parallel, it contributes to another ambition – to be a world leader in carbon reduction.”

 “I congratulate the SeaGen team and wish them every success in their future endeavours.”

The 1.2MW SeaGen system was deployed in 2008 and it was the world’s first commercial-scale, grid-connected tidal stream turbine. SeaGen, which works much like an “underwater windmill”, has the capacity to generate power for the equivalent of about 1,500 homes. SeaGen’s electricity is being fed into the Northern Irish Grid.

David Ainsworth, Business Development Director for Siemens-owned Marine Current Turbines, who led the SeaGen project through the environmental permitting and local consultation process said: “We are very pleased to host Minister Attwood and colleagues from the Department of Environment (DOE), as we have valued our working relationship with the DOE since we first proposed SeaGen to be deployed in Strangford Lough. Whilst SeaGen has been running for nearly five years, it still remains the largest and most powerful tidal stream turbine anywhere in the world. The experience that we have from its operation will enable its deployment in future tidal projects.”

Tidal turbines are part of Siemens’ Environmental Portfolio. In fiscal 2011, revenue from the Portfolio totalled about €30 billion, making Siemens one of the world’s largest suppliers of ecofriendly technologies. In the same period, our products and solutions enabled customers to reduce their carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by nearly 320 million tons, an amount equal to the total annual CO2 emissions of Berlin, Delhi, Hong Kong, Istanbul, London, New York, Singapore and Tokyo.

Press Release, August 23, 2012