European company develops tidal power

by Antonio Pasolini on May 31, 2010

Deep Green is the name of a type of tidal power plant developed by Minesto, a company based in the UK and Sweden. It is an underwater kite consisting of a turbine, generator, rudder, which is attached to the bottom with a tether. The mission: to convert tidal currents into energy.

Minesto was formed in 2007 to develop and commercializes plants using tides to generate electricity. The company is a spin‐off from the Saab Group, which started to develop the product in 2003.

The company claims it offers advantages over traditional tidal power methods as it can operate cost effectively in deep water with low flow velocity where no other known tidal technology can; because it’s small in size and weight, it can carry 0.5 MW works in the standard EU container; it can carry out high comparative energy extraction without gearbox.

Recently, Minesto announced it has raised €2 million in new capital. The money will be used to test Deep Green in the authentic environment outside the coast of Northern Ireland in 2011. The objective of the test is to prove the functionality of the product and support the cost of energy calculations that shows that Minesto’s technology is cost competitive in comparison with traditional electricity production.

“Minesto’s owners are industrial companies and entrepreneurial finance companies with strong global networks. We look forward to commercializing our technology with the help of old and new owners”, says CEO Anders Jansson.

It all sounds great. However, we wonder whether Deep Green plants have an impact on the underwater environment and sealife around it.

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