New tidal power generator to be tested in Wales

Wednesday 06th Apr 2011 by theWeather Club

It seem that interesting things are happening in Wales at the moment. With the UK government committed to cutting CO2 emissions by 60% of present levels by 2030 they are always on the lookout for new low emission energy sources. The UK’s Department of Energy and Climate Change and the Welsh Assembly Government have given the go ahead for a new tidal energy project off the Pembrokeshire coast.

The new DeltaStream device created by Tidal Energy Ltd generates 1.2 megawatts of electricity and will be tested in the Ramsey Sound for 12 months, providing power for around 1,000 homes in St David’s. The device uses three turbines on a 30m wide triangular frame. The difference from other tidal devices is that it sits on the sea bed, the only thing visible on the surface is a marker buoy to let people know where it is. The device could be installed as early as next year, says the company, which has received over £500,000 towards the project from the European Regional Development Fund. “This is tremendous news for Tidal Energy Ltd, for Pembrokeshire and for Wales as a whole,” said managing director Martin Murphy. If the year long trial is successful, Murphy says the company will look to expand the product in 2014.

UK Energy and Climate Change Secretary Chris Huhne welcomed the news saying: “This is exactly the kind of innovative and exciting project I want to see more of. We must make the most of our natural marine resource, not just to cut our emissions, but to boost energy security.” Earlier this week, Marine Current Turbines and RWE npower renewables announced that they had applied for planning consent for a 10 MW tidal stream turbine array off the Anglesey coast in North Wales. So it seems that green energy could be about to join the tourist income and artistic inspiration provided by the dramatic Welsh coast.