Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones announced last week at the Renewable UK Cymru conference in Cardiff that Wales’ first full-scale tidal energy generator has been awarded a £1.6 million EU grant to find its deployment in Ramsey Sound, Pembrokeshire.
The funding comes from the European Regional Development Fund has been provided to Cardiff-based Tidal Energy Ltd for its DeltaStream tidal energy device. The company is backed by Welsh renewable energy company Eco2 Ltd.
Invented by Pembrokeshire engineer Richard Ayre – the DeltaStream device, which sits on the seabed under its own gravity – comprises of three independent 400 kW turbines mounted on a triangular frame.
Harbour trials for the device will take place later this year in Milford Haven before full deployment in 2014 in Ramsey Sound. What follows will be a 12 month demonstration period in which it will generate electricity for the residents of St Davids. Only one 400 kW turbine will be installed in an effort to minimise operational and maintenance risk. Tidal Energy and Eco2 hope to scale up to full operations later in 2014 to 2015.
“This is a really exciting time for us,” said Martin Murphy, Managing Director of Tidal Energy. “We have all the necessary operating consents, have completed the grid work for the project, and are now preparing for our first at-sea tests.”
Chris Williams, Development Director at Tidal Energy Ltd, added, “We are delighted that this funding will allow us to continue developing our business here in Wales, and that we are able to contribute to the creation of a sustainable, low carbon economy for the Country.”