New investment paves way for UK's first commercial-scale tidal farm
Marine Current Turbines (MCT) has raised £3.5m from an investor group led by Carbon Trust Investments Limited and including Bank Invest, EDF Energy, High Tide and a group of significant private investors. The funding will help MCT in its plans to deploy the UK's first commercial tidal energy farm in UK waters within the next two years.
MCT is the developer of SeaGen, the world's first and largest grid-connected system that extracts energy from tidal currents. Part of the new funding will support MCT's first deployment of SeaGen in Northern Ireland's Strangford Lough which has now been successfully operating for more than six months. The company is now also looking to export its technology abroad.
Tom Delay, Chief Executive, of the Carbon Trust said: The UK is leading the way in marine energy and stands to reap the rewards through new jobs and revenue. Marine Current Turbines has developed one of the leading tidal energy devices and its proven technology is now ready to be deployed in a commercial-scale tidal farm which will be a UK first. The current economic climate has created difficulties for companies like MCT operating within a capital intensive sector. We're delighted to be able to lead this important group of investors in providing funding to a key player in the UK's growing marine energy sector.
Martin Wright, Managing Director of MCT, said: We are delighted to secure the support of the Carbon Trust. Their investment, supported by a number of our existing shareholders, underlines the achievements made by MCT in designing, deploying and running a commercial scale tidal system and their confidence in the company's abilities to develop a tidal farm within the next two years.
We have established clear water ahead of our rivals and we see this significant investment, allied by the Government's actions to encourage tidal and wave energy, giving the company a massive boost to realise the commercial opportunities that exist in the UK as well as overseas markets.
Energy and Climate Change Minister, Lord Hunt said: It is critical that we support companies like MCT, so that we can harness the enormous potential from wave and tidal power on our shores. We have the natural resources, the technical skills, and the talent to lead the world in this kind of advanced green manufacturing, which I believe will be the economic success story of the 21st century.
MCT installed the world's first commercial scale tidal stream turbine, the 1.2 MW SeaGen, in Strangford Lough in Northern Ireland in 2008. The device is now operating remotely and generating power that is being sold to ESB Independent Energy under a Power Purchase Agreement helping to supply businesses across Northern Ireland with renewable electricity.
The Carbon Trust's investment is drawn from a new £18m fund, provided by the Department of Energy and Climate Change, announced by the Carbon Trust last month. The new fund is designed to speed up Britain's move towards a low carbon economy by providing promising UK clean energy sector companies with investment over the next 12-18 months.
Notes to editors
For more information or an interview please contact:-
the Carbon Trust press office on 0207 544 3100 or
Marine Current Turbines:
Martin Wright, Managing Director Tel: 0117 979 1888 / 07785 340671
Paul Taylor (Taylor Keogh Communications) Tel: 020 3170 8465 / 07966 782611
About CT Investment Partners LLP
¢ CT Investment Partners LLP is the FSA authorised and regulated venture capital advisory firm, jointly owned by Carbon Trust and its executives, which advises Carbon Trust Investments.
About Carbon Trust Investments
¢ Carbon Trust Investments Limited is the venture capital investment subsidiary of the Carbon Trust. Carbon Trust Investments has invested in 18 businesses over the last seven years. Two of these companies, Ceres Power PLC and CMR Fuel Cells PLC listed on AIM. A further portfolio company, Heliswirl Technology Ltd, has achieved a partial exit.
¢ Other portfolio companies include 4energy Ltd, CamSemi Ltd, Acal Energy Ltd, Pelamis Wave Power Ltd, Heliswirl Technologies Ltd, Natural Buildings Technology Ltd, Whitfield Solar Ltd, Green Biologics Ltd, RLtec and Plaxica
About Marine Current Turbines
Marine Current Turbines Ltd (www.marineturbines.com) was established in 2000. The 1.2MW SeaGen was deployed in Northern Ireland's Strangford Lough in April 2008; it has the capacity to generate power for the equivalent of about 1500 homes. It works in principle much like an underwater windmill with the rotors driven by the power of the tidal currents rather than the wind.
A single SeaGen system is planned to be deployed in Canada's Bay of Fundy during 2011 by Canadian company, Minas Bay Pulp & Paper. Since February 2008, the company has partnered RWE npower on plans to develop a tidal farm in waters off Anglesey, north Wales.
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