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Wales’ first full-scale tidal energy generator unveiled

Published:  11 August, 2014

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 DeltaStream device developed by tidal stream technology company Tidal Energy Ltd (TEL) will be installed in Ramsey Sound, Pembrokeshire, and will be among the world’s first grid-connected demonstration devices to generate green, sustainable and predictable tidal power.

It 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 in Wales.

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 £8m 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.”

Unlike other tidal designs currently being developed, the multiple patented DeltaStream device combines an innovative freestanding triangular base design with a state-of-the-art hydraulics system, which ensures the turbine freely turns to capture the best tidal flow and maximise power generation. The gravitational pull anchors the device in place, eliminating the need for costly drilling into the seabed and ensuring low installation and maintenance costs relative to the electricity it generates.

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 the UK and the country’s plentiful resources.”

EU funds worth £8m delivered through the Welsh Government have been invested in the project, with match funding from majority shareholder, Welsh renewable energy company, Eco2 Ltd.

The Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) estimates that the UK has around 50% of Europe’s tidal energy resource and could meet up to 20% of its electricity demand using wave and tidal technology.

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