Limerick company aims to make some waves with new tidal energy device

Ocean-based renewable energy, such as tidal energy, is increasingly being seen as Ireland’s best alternative renewable energy source, overtaking the more common wind energy. Now, a new string has been added to its bow, as Limerick is set to become home to the first OC1 device in Ireland.

Having undergone trials since late October, with previous testing taking place at the IFREMAR testing centre in Boulogne-Sur-Mer, France, the OC1 has officially launched at the Shannon Foynes Port Company (SFPC).

The first pilot tidal energy device to enter use following the launch is a 15 kW river unit, capable of powering small communities from natural river flow, but future commercial deployment is expected to increase the devices’ size and capacity to somewhere in the region of 1 MW.

Designed by GKinetic’s founder, Vincent McCormack, the OC1 device works by exploiting the natural phenomena that occurs when water accelerates around an obstacle, which accelerates the flow of water to eight-times that which would occur naturally, creating greater amounts of energy.