Bord Gáis and tidal energy firm OpenHydro have been awarded rights to develop a 100MW tidal energy farm off Torr Head on the north coast of Antrim.

The project, which could be a first for the Irish coast, is expected to be completed by 2020.

The award was made by The Crown Estate to Tidal Ventures, a joint venture between Bord Gáis and Open Hydro.

Dave Kirwan of Bord Gáis Energy said the project is a milestone for the development of tidal resources on the island of Ireland.

According to a statement from the companies OpenHydro's tidal turbines are located on the seabed beneath the ocean surface and cannot be seen or heard.

Another company, SeaGen, installed a tidal energy convertor in Strangford Lough in April 2008.