World's First Commercial Tidal Power Generator Leaves Harland and Wolff

Saturday 10 May 2008

Harland and Wolff Heavy Industries’ giant crane Samson is to begin loading the world’s first commercial scale tidal energy generator, the SeaGen developed by Bristol-based Marine Current Turbines (MCT), onto a specialist vessel on March 22. The twin-rotor, submarine power generator, which was completed at the yard last summer, will be loaded on board the Belgian-registered crane barge Rambiz to being its journey to Strangford Lough.

The device and its support structure will be transported from the Belfast yard to the Strangford Lough site where it will be installed on the seafloor. The SeaGen’s depth will then be set at the optimum level to maximise use of tidal flow. The surface-visible ancillary service equipment will be added to complete the structure. The device will then be linked to the Northern Ireland electricity grid via a prepared cable.
Alan Haley, Harland and Wolff project director, says the SeaGen may be the first of many.

“This is the world’s first commercially viable tidal energy generator and we were very pleased to play our role in its fabrication and assembly,” says Mr Haley.

Angela Robotham MCT’s Chief Engineer in charge of the SeaGen project is overseeing the transfer of the device from Harland and Wolff to Strangford.

“Approaching the completion of a project never before undertaken anywhere in the world is immensely exciting and my team and I are looking forward to the moment when the SeaGen begins generating electricity,” says Ms Robotham. “This is cutting edge technology and we at MCT are very proud to have progressed the latest innovation from its inception five years ago to full operation.”

“We are all confident that it will be successful and very much hope that an entire generation of these SeaGens will be deployed around the globe.”

The SeaGen will generate 1.2MW, the equivalent level of power needed to supply 1,000 average households.
It was designed by Bristol-based Marine Current Turbines (MCT) whose principal shareholders include BankInvest, EDF Energy, Gurnsey Electricity and Triodos Bank. MCT says its tidal stream device, Seaflow and SeaGen, the world’s largest grid-connected tidal stream system makes it the first mover in the development of tidal turbines.


For filming and photography access times please contact:
Alan Haley, Harland and Wolff Heavy Industries Ltd, tel: 028 9045 8456 or Joris Minne, JPR, tel: 028 9076 0066

Harland and Wolff Heavy Industries Ltd


Belfast-based Harland and Wolff Heavy Industries is an advanced engineering firm employing over 100 engineers, designers and marketing staff.

The company has been employing up to 500 people consistently throughout the year.

The firm’s 556m X 93m main dock is supported by twin 800-tonne gantry cranes (Samson and Goliath) and large hard standing lay down areas.

The company focuses on four main areas of activity. These include ship-building, repair and conversion; design engineering; the design, manufacture and assembly of renewable energy hardware for wind, current and wave energies; and steel fabrication and installation.