A plan to install the world's biggest tidal energy turbine in Northern Ireland has been put on hold.

Marine Current Turbines was going to start installing its SeaGen commercial energy system at the mouth of Strangford Lough at the end of the month.

Artist's representation of the SeaGen turbineThe turbine (shown left in an artist's representation) would be the first of its kind in the world to create commercial amounts of electricity.

The company said the delay is because the jack-up installation vessel it will charter is stuck on its current project for an extended period.

They hope to schedule a new installation date by the end of the year.

The turbine itself is ready to go, waiting in Belfast's Harland and Wolff shipyard.

It has the capacity to produce 1.2MW of electricity - four times more than any other tidal turbine - and will generate clean and sustainable electricity for around 1,000 homes.

There are plans for the prototype to be replicated on a large scale over the next few years.

The mouth of Strangford has one of the fastest tidal flows in the world.

The company believes it could achieve up to 500MW of tidal capacity by 2015 based on the SeaGen technology.