Giant underwater turbine for tidal power is being tested

A giant underwater turbine that could herald the birth of tidal power in Britain is being tested off the coast of Orkney, Scotland.

The 100-ft tall ‘Hammerfest Strom HS1000’ has the capacity to supply electricity for 500 homes, and could form part of the world’s first tidal power farm off the Hebridean island of Islay . A prototype has been running for six years in Norway, but the model in Orkney will be tested against Scottish conditions. Run by Spanish-owned Scottish Power, the device will be installed ‘as early as feasible’ between 2013 and 2015.  Tidal power, where the force of the sea is used to turn giant underwater turbines, is one of the last un-tested forms of renewable energy production.