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Funding secured for Limerick tidal energy turbine project


Vincent McCormack of GKinetic Energy fitting the turbine device at Limerick Docks

TIDAL energy company GKinetic Energy has received funding from the Sustainable Energy Authority to carry out further testing and improvements to a new turbine at Limerick Docks.

The County Limerick firm is developing an innovative hydrokinetic turbine device that accelerates the flow of water to produce zero-carbon energy in both river and tidal resources.

The €99,562 allocation from the SEAI Prototype Development Fund is to carry out further optimisation of the device as GKinetic ramps up its plans to design, build and demonstrate a large scale 250 kW tidal device in conjunction with a consortium of EU project partners.

Last March, West Limerick company DesignPro Ltd. secured EU Horizon 2020 funding to commercialise small scale river devices using GKinetic’s technology.

In addition, the company was recently shortlisted for Ireland’s 2017 Marine Industry Excellence in Marine Renewable Energy Award.

Significant effort went into the device’s PTO (Power Take Off) system and, with support from MaREI (Marine and renewable Energy Ireland) and LiR, the control law has now been defined. This marked a huge step in the technology advancement of the company which was established in 2014 by Vincent McCormack.

The SEAI funding will see the deployment of an improved prototype device at a purpose-built test facility the company developed in partnership with Shannon Foynes Port Company in the Limerick Docks.

Testing is projected to run for a six week period. This follows on from a very successful testing phase in the Limerick Docks last year, where the deployment method and device stability were thoroughly tested and have been improved.

GKinetic hopes to establish the Limerick Docks as a centre of excellence for testing marine energy technology.

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