Belfast-based Harland and Wolff, most famous as the shipyard that built the Titanic, has landed a contract to build a tidal turbine for the Orkney-based tidal power company Scotrenewables.
This tidal turbine is a 30-metre wide, 80-tonne prototype device that will be placed off the Scottish Islands to generate power using two huge rotors 8 metres in diameter. It will produce 250kw of energy from the tide.
"We have chosen Harland & Wolff to construct the SR250 prototype because of their outstanding pedigree in the field of shipbuilding, offshore oil and gas and, more recently, offshore renewables," said Scotrenewables project leader Mark Hamilton.
Harland and Wolff engineering manager Fred Black was quoted in the Belfast Telegraph saying: "Our input was to assist their engineers to develop the design to make it production friendly. This makes it cheaper and enhances quality."
Hamilton reckons that the market for this kind of technology both in Britain and globally will be huge and says he wants the company to be at the forefront of the tidal energy industry.
"Their project support to date has been extremely valuable and we look forward to completing construction at their facilities by the end of this year," he said.
"This is a great achievement for us and is testament to the hard work and dedication of all the team. There is a lot of hard work left to do in proving the long-term viability of our technology but testing to date has produced very promising results."