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SeaGen tidal power system gets ROCs accreditation

UK-based Marine Current Turbine’s SeaGen tidal power system has been accredited by the UK energy regulator OFGEM for Renewable Energy Certificates (ROCs) meaning SeaGen will receive payment for the power it is generating.

SeaGen is a 1.2 MW twin turbine tidal energy system deployed in Northern Ireland’s Strangford Lough in May 2008 and is already generating power to the local grid.

Martin Wright, Managing Director of Marine Current Turbines said: “Securing ROCs accreditation is a significant step forward as it is the first time that a tidal current system has been officially recognised as a commercial power station. Up until now, marine renewable technologies have not gone beyond the R&D phase. SeaGen has changed all that.

“We have had our challenges with the SeaGen project and we know that we still have much to do to ensure that our technology is deployed on a truly commercial basis. However, the ROCs accreditation is a positive signal that tidal energy will play a part in the country’s future energy mix,” he adds.

Although the SeaGen tidal power system is performing well, Marine Current Turbines says it is “seriously concerned that the current investment climate threatens the long-term future of the marine energy sector.”

Martin Wright comments: “The Government’s forthcoming Renewable Energy Strategy Review is critical to clean-tech companies such as Marine Current Turbines. The current investment climate is the worst in living memory and following the announcement to increase the ROC multiple to two for offshore wind, there is effectively no market to pull marine energy forward. It will be vital that the government addresses this is in its Renewable Energy Strategy Review and takes urgent action. If not, there is a significant risk that tidal power will suffer the same fate that befell the British wind industry: no home-grown manufacturing and engineering jobs.”

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