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Underwater energy turbine installed in Orkney

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Underwater energy turbine installed in Orkney


The windswept beauty of the Orkney islands in Scotland is the obvious place to harness renewable energy produced by mother nature.

But this time engineers are plunging beneath the ocean’s surface to take advantage of the strong currents.

In a joint initiative between Spain’s Iberdrola and its affiliate Scottish Power, the first underwater energy park is being tested.

Team member Álvaro Martínez, head of Iberdrola’s naval department, explained: “We have installed a turbine at a depth of around 40 metres with a one megawatt capacity able to supply 500 homes.”

Cables from the turbine are run up the beach via a purpose built tunnel to the local electricity substation.

With no controversial towering structures above ground to mar the view a larger scale installation is expected to be fully operational next year with another off Islay in 2013.

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