The concepts created to harvest the ocean as an energy source has rapidly taken off, and not only that, many of those ideas have started to begun implementation. Last week, the first major underwater turbine was installed in Northern Ireland, Strangford Narrows…a body of water known for fierce currents. Built by Marine Current Turbines, the contraption called the SeaGen works via twin blades measuring 52 feet wide placed underwater to generate power for about 1,000 homes.
When reading this, my first thought was “oh no”…what about the marine life? If you are wondering the same thing…Marine Current Turbines claims that the turbines move slowily enough to allow fish and other sea creatures to get out of the way if they plan to swim through. The blades are designed for bi-directional flow, so they’ll turn regardless of which way the tide is rushing and will spin 10 to 20 times per minute. Still seems a bit fast for me….
As part of another project, the company is also hoping to install a farm of underwater turbines off Wales which could produce power for thousands of homes.