Wales’ first full-scale tidal energy generator has been unveiled at Pembroke Port by The First Minister of Wales, the Rt. Hon. Carwyn Jones AM.
The patented DeltaStream device developed by Cardiff-based tidal stream technology company Tidal Energy Ltd will be installed in Ramsey Sound, Pembrokeshire, following its unveiling – and will be amongst the world’s first demonstration devices to generate green, sustainable and predictable tidal power.
EU funds worth £8m delivered through the Welsh Government has been invested in the project, with match funding from majority shareholder, Welsh renewable energy company, Eco2 Ltd.
Managing Director of Tidal Energy Ltd, Martin Murphy said, “This is a significant milestone for us as a company and for the industry as a whole. We have achieved a number of firsts with this project, including those relating to the environmental consents, the grid connection and the installation process – where the turbine and foundation are installed together.
“The imminent launch of DeltaStream, and the supply chain that now exists as a consequence of its development, marks the birth of the tidal industry in Wales. We remain committed to leading the expansion of this industry and to the creation of green jobs by building on the wealth of expertise present in this region and the country’s plentiful resources.”
Tidal Energy Ltd’s DeltaStream device is the first private marine project to be fully developed in Wales, having secured all the required planning and environmental consents together with a lease agreement from The Crown Estate. The company has also worked with contractors to install the necessary infrastructure to support what will be the first grid-connected freestanding tidal turbine.
Named ‘Ysbryd y Mor’ meaning ‘Spirit of the Sea’, the DeltaStream 400kW demonstration device, weighing 150 tonnes and with a frame 16m long by 20m high, has been fabricated and assembled by Pembroke-Dock based company Mustang Marine over the last six months.
Invented by Pembrokeshire engineer Richard Ayre, the DeltaStream device is the first project to receive precautionary ‘deploy and monitor’ environmental consent in a designated Marine Special Area of Conservation’ having incorporated a number of design features to minimise any potential impact on the surrounding environment. An extensive suite of monitoring equipment will be installed on and around the device in Ramsey Sound.
The DeltaStream project marks the first step in the delivery of the Welsh Government’s March 2014 Plan for its Low Carbon Transition Strategy in marine renewable generation.
Commenting on the project, the First Minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones said: “I’m delighted that Wales’ first full scale tidal stream energy generator has been supported with almost £8million from the European Regional Development Fund. This is a landmark project for Wales, which will not only help us to meet our sustainable energy ambitions, but will also provide significant opportunities for local people and businesses.”
Plans for a 10MW DeltaStream commercial array off St Davids Head in Pembrokeshire are underway, which will see Tidal Energy Ltd join forces with Eco2 Ltd to install up to nine DeltaStream devices, and generate enough power for approximately 10,000 homes.
Dr David Williams, Chief Executive of Eco2 Ltd said, “The St Davids Head project will serve to further prove the commercial viability of DeltaStream and marine renewable energy as a whole. The device has excellent export potential for deployment in high energy tidal sites around the world, and we intend to harness this tidal potential.”