An innovative new project to generate tidal energy in Ramsey Sound off Pembrokeshire has been given the go ahead by Energy and Climate Change Secretary Chris Huhne.
.Tidal Energy Limited’s 1.2MW ‘Deltastream’ device will provide green electricity to the local distribution network during its 12 month test period, with the potential to power up to 1,000 homes.
The device, the first of its kind in Wales, will be assembled in west Wales and provide skilled jobs for the local economy. It has been specifically designed to be sensitive to the local environment.
Announcing the decision, Huhne said: “The UK’s great marine heritage and our engineering genius make the potential for wave and tidal energy here vast. We must make the most of our natural marine resource, not just to cut our emissions, but to boost energy security and create jobs. I wish Tidal Energy the best of luck with testing their Deltastream device off Wales. This is exactly the kind of innovative and exciting project I want to see more of.”
The Welsh Assembly Government has also approved the scheme, which has received more than £500,000 from the European Regional Development Fund.
The announcement follows the recent publication of the Welsh Marine Renewable Energy Strategic Framework which provides an illustration of the marine energy environment around the coast of Wales, and shows there is the potential for Welsh waters to produce enough energy to power up to 2M homes per year.
Environment minister Jane Davidson said: “Our energy policy statement, A Low Carbon Revolution, outlines that Wales has the potential to produce nearly twice the amount of electricity it currently uses, through wholly renewable sources by 2025.
“Developing and investing in renewable technologies such as ‘DeltaStream’ is vital if we are to meet our energy targets and drive forward Wales’ ambitions to become a more sustainable nation. Today’s announcement takes us a step closer to the sustainable delivery of marine energy in Wales.
“This project shows our commitment to getting pre-commercial devices into the water, so that their performance can be monitored. This will help to move the industry along and support the development of much needed field data. It demonstrates Wales’ commitment to leading the way in producing clean, renewable energy for the benefit of our communities and for Wales’ beautiful environment.”
Tidal Energy managing director Martin Murphy added: “This is tremendous news for Tidal Energy Ltd, for Pembrokeshire and for Wales as a whole. We have taken a great stride forward today, which will enable us to deploy our first full-scale DeltaStream device in Ramsey Sound, Pembrokeshire in early 2012.
“We are grateful for the support and positive engagement of the community in Pembrokeshire and the consultees involved in the consenting process.
“Following a successful 12 month technical and environmental test of the device, we will look to develop a pre-commercial array in 2014. This is the first consented tidal stream project in Welsh waters and we are honoured to be at the forefront of the tidal energy industry in Wales.”