Welsh tidal power demonstration to go ahead in 2012

22 Jul 2011

Funding of £11m has been secured for Wales’ first full-scale tidal stream energy generator, which is now likely to be deployed next year.

This week, the Welsh government announced £6.4m worth of support from the European Regional Development Fund for Tidal Energy Ltd’s 1.2MW DeltaStream device, which will be located in Pembrokeshire’s Ramsey Sound for a 12-month demonstration period to assess how it interacts with the environment.

The balance of the funding has been provided by majority shareholder Eco2.

Cranfield University, which has been providing specialist design support to the project for the last three years, will continue its research and development work and will play a role in the deployment of the device, overseeing operational performance.

Invented by Pembrokeshire engineer Richard Ayre, DeltaStream sits on the sea bed without the need for a positive anchoring system.  It generates electricity from three separate horizontal axis turbines mounted on a common frame. 

According to Tidal Energy, the device – which will provide a sustainable source of electricity to homes in the city of St Davids during the demonstration period – has been designed to be easily installed, with minimal impact on the environment.

At the end of the 12-month project, the device and its associated infrastructure will be removed from the site.

“This funding announcement comes at a pivotal stage in the project, and will provide Wales with a unique opportunity to develop and demonstrate a home-grown tidal stream technology,” said Martin Murphy, managing director of Tidal Energy.

“The next step for the scheme will be the manufacture of the DeltaStream device, ready for installation in 2012. Procurement for the fabrication and installation of DeltaStream is under way and the project will create a significant number of green jobs.”

Tidal Energy Ltd has been backed by renewable energy company Eco2 Ltd since 2008. Both businesses are chaired by entrepreneur Peter Darwell.

“This funding decision is crucial to the success of the project,” said David Williams, chief executive of Eco2. “We believe the DeltaStream device to be a world-class product which combines innovative blade design with portability and high efficiency.”

Article courtesy of Businessandleadership.com