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A new type of ‘underwater kite’ tethered to the ocean floor will be able to produce enough electricity to power 10 homes.

The kite, known as Deep Green, uses turbine attached to a wing and rudder which is tethered to the ocean floor by 100 meters of cable. It uses kinetic energy from the waves which it converts into power.

Each ‘kite’ will be able to produce 500 KW of power once fully operational.Developed by Saab spin-out Minesto, the project has just secured €2 million from investors to fund testing scheduled to start in 2011.

The firm claims that ‘Deep Green’ can operate efficiently at sites with low current speeds and also at greater depths.This would mean that tidal energy could be collected in new stretches of sea water.

The company hope to begin trials of a scale model in 2011 at Strangford Lough, in County Down, Northern Ireland -- which is already home to a commercial tidal power device operated by UK renewable energy company, SeaGen.

Minesto believe ‘Deep Green’ will be available within four years but engineering challenges remain.

For example, researchers are still not sure how large sea animals such as dolphins and whales will take to the devices being tethered in their domain.

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