Wave Hub Limited (WHL) has submitted an environmental scoping report to Natural Resources Wales and the Marine Management Organisation for the Pembrokeshire Demonstration Zone (PDZ).
The report considers a mix of wave energy and floating wind technology with a maximum total electricity generation of 100MW and asks for a formal opinion on what issues should be covered by an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).
The Pembrokeshire Demonstration Zone is an offshore site leased by The Crown Estate to WHL for the deployment of large-scale wave energy arrays. The 90km2 site is located approximately 15km off the South Pembrokeshire coastline and has a wind resource of 10m/s. The proposed onshore grid connection is at Pembroke Dock Power Station.
“The feasibility study commissioned by WHL has concluded there would be a benefit in sharing the PDZ site and grid infrastructure with a more commercially developed project. Floating wind is developing rapidly and there are very few existing demonstration sites for this technology in the UK. We know the PDZ would be a good location to test floating wind as it has a good wind resource and the water depth is suitable for most types of floating wind technology,” Madeline Cowley, the PDZ Project Manager, said.
According to Cowley, a number of developers expressed their interest in using the Pembrokeshire site.
”By sharing the PDZ with floating wind we will be able to broaden access to finance for the project, bring forward development of the site and enable a phased installation of technology that will support commercialisation of both the wave and floating wind sectors,” said Cowley.
The Scoping Opinion will determine which key issues the EIA should focus on and what environmental surveys need to be undertaken. A consent application could be submitted in 2020, consent granted in 2022 and the first electricity could be generated by 2024, WHL said.