Tidal turbines are a relatively new invention, that use a very old technology of harnessing the power of the water, and Marine Current Turbines just completed building the largest one in the world. The 1,000 tonne turbine is going to be dropped into Northern Ireland’s Strangford Lough, and will be the first commercial tidal turbine to produce energy. It is expected to generate enough energy per year to power roughly one thousand homes in the area.
Each turbine blade is 16m long and will run between 18-20 hours per day to generate energy to be used in the homes in the area. Strangford Lough is known for its fast current and relatively tame weather conditions, which are ideal for a turbine of this capacity.
A major concern for locals and environmentalists alike is the effect that a tidal turbine can have on the marine life that inhabit the channel. However, the turbine is designed to spin only 10-20 times per minute, which is incredibly slow when compared to the propellor on a large boat.
But if you see a sale on Northern Irish fish at the market, don’t be surprised.