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Siemens Acquires Stake In UK-Based Marine Current Turbines

Posted on February 25, 2010

Siemens Energy has acquired a minority stake in Britain’s Marine Current Turbines, a company involved with the design and development of tidal current energy turbines. With the acquisition of a stake of just below 10% Siemens is entering a new market with good future prospects and at the same time expanding its environmental portfolio, the company reported.

Marine current turbines generate electricity by utilizing water flows such as tidal currents. The turbine is fixed on a pile and is driven by the flow of the tides. This technology effectively is similar to an underwater wind turbine. The rotor blades are not driven by wind power but by marine currents. The water has an energy density of more than 800 times that of wind. Twin rotors rotate with the movement of the tidal flow and pitch through 180 degrees to optimally track tidal current direction and speed. The key advantage is that the generated power is predictable in the tidal cycle.

“With this investment in an early stage company we’re securing access to an innovative technology in the field of renewables,” said René Umlauft, CEO of the Renewable Energy Division of Siemens Energy. “As one of the technology leaders in ocean power Marine Current Turbines is a suitable partner for us to enter the promising ocean power market.” By 2020, experts anticipate double-digit growth rates for the ocean power market.

Marine Current Turbines has already implemented its first commercial demonstrator project SeaGen in Strangford Lough in Northern Ireland. Since November 2008, two axial turbines with a combined capacity of 1.2 MW have been feeding power into the grid to supply about 1500 homes.

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