UK: Tidal Energy Partners with Port of Milford Haven
Cardiff-based marine renewable energy company, Tidal Energy Ltd, has entered into a partnership with the Port of Milford Haven to develop an operating base in readiness for the forthcoming sea trials of its DeltaStream demonstration unit in Ramsey Sound, Pembrokeshire.
Under the agreement, facilities will be provided at Pembroke Port for the storage, assembly, deployment and maintenance of the DeltaStream tidal generation unit and for an operations centre during the demonstration programme.
Chris Williams, Development Director for Tidal Energy Ltd, said: “We are very excited to be working with the Port of Milford Haven to progress our DeltaStream demonstration project, as well as our St Davids Head tidal array project. They are one of the UK’s leading energy ports and have excellent facilities and capabilities in close proximity to both our tidal energy sites in Pembrokeshire.”
He added, “This partnership provides a unique opportunity for the long-term development of the marine renewables industry in Wales, will create a number of jobs in Pembrokeshire and will help to put Wales at the forefront of marine energy development.”
Harbour trials of the DeltaStream device will take place in Pembroke Dock later this year, before the unit is deployed in Ramsey Sound in 2014. Here, it will generate clean electricity for the homes of St Davids over its 12-month demonstration period.
Kevin Hobbs, Short Sea Director of Port of Milford Haven said, “Pembroke Port is a perfect location from which to provide services to the wave and tidal industry in Wales. This arrangement builds upon our commitment to support this innovative industry and is the first step in our ambition to develop Pembroke Port into a centre of excellence for marine renewables and engineering.”
Tidal Energy Ltd will be opening a new office at the Port, and is currently recruiting for two new positions, both of which will be based in Pembrokeshire.
Invented by Pembrokeshire engineer Richard Ayre – the DeltaStream device, which sits on the seabed under its own gravity – consists of three independent 400kW turbines mounted on a triangular frame. For the first deployment in Ramsey Sound early next year, one 400kW turbine will be installed in order to minimise operational and maintenance risk and with a view to scaling up to the full scale device later in 2014/2015.
Tidal Energy Ltd is backed by Welsh renewable energy company Eco2 Ltd, which has developed projects in biomass, wind and landfill gas.
Edwina Hart, Minister for Economy, Science and Transport said, “Wales is an ideal location for marine energy investment, with unique tidal resources, good port facilities and proximity to the grid. The Haven Waterway Enterprise Zone offers the opportunity to build on existing and potential new energy sites and provides an additional stimulus for energy and port related developments that will have a positive knock-on impact throughout the supply chain.
“The Welsh Government has supported and worked closely with the company from the start, including providing financial support through EU structural funds to the tune of £8m. This project takes Wales a step closer to developing marine energy and the real opportunities for growth and jobs that industry will bring.”
Press release, June 12, 2013; Image: tidalenergyltd