Ireland's OpenHydro and Nova Scotia Power have officially launched a tidal turbine in the Bay of Fundy in Canada capable of generating 1 megawatt of power.
The 400-ton device is located approximately three kilometers off shore and is producing power already.
Wave and tidal companies have for years touted ocean energy as a potential growth market, but it's been mostly characterized by missteps. Finavera Renewables dropped its experimental wave buoy into the drink off of the coast of Oregon in one experiment. Pelamis Wave Power sold 750 kilowatts worth of wave power equipment to a company that installed it off of the coast of Portugal. It worked for a bit, but then pulled in. It hasn't been on the seas since. Meanwhile, Pelamis tossed its CEO overboard a few weeks ago.
Small turbines off of the coast of Manhattan from Verdant were pulled in for repairs after installation.
OpenHydro's is the biggest commercial turbine, wave or tidal, to be deployed. It's an interesting device. Instead of three rotating blades, like a wind turbine, it is more like a kitchen fan. All the extra blades and steel give it survivability.
Here's a video of a test turbine from OpenHydro off the coast of Scotland. The sea captain is pretty entertaining too.