Nova Scotia’s Energy Minister Pays a Visit to Northern Ireland’s Tidal Turbine

Nova Scotia’s Minister of Energy and Minister of Communications, Andrew Younger today visited Siemens’ SeaGen tidal energy turbine at Strangford Lough, Northern Ireland. 

Nova Scotia’s Energy Minister Pays a Visit to Northern Ireland's Tidal Turbine

Siemens-owned Marine Current Turbines (MCT) is pushing ahead with even more ambitious innovation in Canada with the SeaGen-F floating turbine, which forms a backdrop to today’s visit.

Minister Younger climbed aboard SeaGen with senior executives from Siemens and MCT, Kai Koelmel and David Langston, who explained how this pioneering technology works and their plans for future development and deployment of next generation technology in the UK and internationally. SeaGen was the first commercial scale tidal turbine and has been operation since 2008 generating clean energy for 1,400 homes.

MCT is now working in partnership with Bluewater Energy Services B.V. (Bluewater) to develop SeaGen-F, the innovative 2 megawatt floating tidal current device. This device will be the first of its kind to be installed in Canada’s Bay of Fundy, in cooperation with Nova Scotian project developer Minas Energy. The turbines will produce enough clean energy to supply up to 1,800 Nova Scotian households. Plans are under development to build-out a commercial multi-megawatt array at the tidal energy facilities of Fundy Ocean Research Centre for Energy.

Commenting on the potential of the technology, Minister Younger said: “Nova Scotia is rapidly becoming known as a centre of excellence in the tidal industry. We have the most powerful site for tidal power in North America in the Bay of Fundy and we are home to a strong ocean technology sector, including world-class marine researchers. Most importantly, we are committed to building a tidal industry that does business around the globe. 

“We are excited about the opportunity to partner with other governments and industry to advance ocean renewable energy research and development. Our visit here is part of our work to expand those opportunities and relationships, as well as see instream tidal technology already in place.” 

The SeaGen experience is the keystone of future developments such as the SeaGen-F. Bluewater Energy, MCT’s partner, contributes know-how in the field of floating platforms and subsea moorings and extensive offshore experience. The combination of tidal resource and Nova Scotia’s Feed In Tariff make the Bay of Fundy one of the most attractive and economic sites in the world.

Commenting on today’s visit by Minister Younger, Kai Koelmel, Vice President of Siemens’ Hydro and Ocean Power Business said: “We are delighted to host today’s visit by Minister Younger. SeaGen remains the largest and most powerful tidal stream turbine anywhere in the world. The experience we have from its operation over the last six years in Strangford Lough is key to other developments, such as our work with Bluewater in the Bay of Fundy. The floating device, SeaGen-F, complements our strategy and is another key innovation and step in commercialising tidal current technology.”

The worldwide potential for power generated by tidal power plants is estimated at 800 terawatt-hours (TWh) annually. That is equivalent to 3-4 percent of global power consumption. Coastal regions with strong tidal currents like those in the UK, Canada, France and East Asia offer major potential for the utilization of this technology Siemens owned Marine Current Turbines Ltd (MCT), established in 1999, is both first mover and world leader in tidal power systems.

Press release, June 25, 2014; Image: Siemens