This article discusses that in the quest for renewable energy, the oceans’ tides and flow have gone largely untapped. Companies in the United Kingdom and Canada are trying to harvest the power of sea current through new application of an old technology: turbines. IT Power is using technology from its spin-off company, Marine Current Turbines, also in Hampshire. The technology consists of a pair of axial flow rotors that are roughly 50 to 65 feet in diameter. Each drives a generator via a gearbox, much like a wind turbine. Blue Energy Canada is also working the currents. Its approach differs from that of IT Power in two significant ways: orientation of the turbine blades and their arrangement. A study conducted in 2001 by Triton Consultants, based in Vancouver, BC, on behalf of BC Hydro (one of the largest electrical utilities in Canada), found that the cost to develop a current turbine site is rather high, but the cost of annual power generation would be low. The study considered a site at the Discovery Passage in British Columbia, which it speculated would run 7941-MW Marine Current Turbines spread over roughly 3922 acres.

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