Wales’ Forst Full-Scale Tidal Energy Generator Unveiled Ahead of its Installation in Welsh Waters
Wales’ first full-scale tidal energy generator has been unveiled today [07/08/14] at Pembroke Port by The First Minister of Wales, the Rt. Hon. Carwyn Jones AM.
The patented DeltaStream device developed by Cardiff-based tidal stream technology company Tidal Energy Ltd will be installed in Ramsey Sound, Pembrokeshire, following its unveiling – and will be amongst the world’s first demonstration devices to generate green, sustainable and predictable tidal power.
EU funds worth £8m delivered through the Welsh Government has been invested in the project, with match funding from majority shareholder, Welsh renewable energy company, Eco2 Ltd.
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 this region and the country’s plentiful resources.”
Tidal Energy Ltd’s DeltaStream device 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.
Named ‘Ysbryd y Mor’ meaning ‘Spirit of the Sea’, the DeltaStream 400kW demonstration device, weighing 150 tonnes and with a frame 16m long by 20m high, has been fabricated and assembled by Pembroke-Dock based company Mustang Marine over the last six months.
Invented by Pembrokeshire engineer Richard Ayre, the DeltaStream device is the first project to receive precautionary ‘deploy and monitor’ environmental consent in a designated Marine Special Area of Conservation’ having incorporated a number of design features to minimise any potential impact on the surrounding environment. An extensive suite of monitoring equipment will be installed on and around the device in Ramsey Sound.
The DeltaStream project marks the first step in the delivery of the Welsh Government’s March 2014 Plan for its Low Carbon Transition Strategy in marine renewable generation.
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 £8million 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.”
Plans for a 10MW DeltaStream commercial array off St Davids Head in Pembrokeshire are underway, which will see Tidal Energy Ltd join forces with Eco2 Ltd to install up to nine DeltaStream devices, and generate enough power for approximately 10,000 homes.
Dr David Williams, Chief Executive of Eco2 Ltd said, “The St Davids Head project will serve to further prove the commercial viability of DeltaStream and marine renewable energy as a whole. The device has excellent export potential for deployment in high energy tidal sites around the world, and we intend to harness this tidal potential.”
About Tidal Energy Ltd
Tidal Energy Limited (TEL) is a privately owned company with a number of independent shareholders. It was set up in Wales by a team of marine engineering and renewable energy experts. The main funder and driving force behind TEL is Eco2 Ltd and its shareholders. Eco2 Ltd is Wales’ leading renewable energy company and is also based in Cardiff.
For more information on existing patents and our other partners, please visit –www.tidalenergyltd.com
About DeltaStream funding
Tidal Energy Ltd is backed by independent renewable energy company Eco2 Ltd, which has also developed projects in biomass, onshore wind and landfill gas. TEL has received support from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)through the Welsh Government, the Carbon Trust and Carbon Connections UK Ltd. The Company’s research partnership with Cranfield University has played a vital role in the design and development of DeltaStream.
About DeltaStream design
The key design features include:
- A triangular gravity foundation which provides an important alternative to existing ‘piling’ methods for stability of the device on the seabed. This is the key to reducing the high installation and maintenance costs traditionally associated with marine renewable technology.
- The patented turbine blade design provides exceptional performance characteristics
- The DeltaStream solution, with up to 3 turbines on a single structure provides a high average output power
Unlike other tidal devices currently being developed, the multiple-patented DeltaStream device combines an innovative freestanding triangular 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.
About DeltaStream Patents
DeltaStream’s intellectual property is protected by four patents, granted in multiple jurisdictions:
1. Thrust Control Patent:
This has been granted in the UK (2011), New Zealand (2013) and is grant pending in Australia, Canada, China, Korea, Europe & the USA.
2. Tidal Flow Structure Patent:
This has been granted in the UK (2012), Europe (2011), France (2012), Germany (2012), Ireland (2012), New Zealand (2013) & the USA (2013), and is grant pending in Canada.
3. Rock Foot Patent
TEL’s ‘Rock Foot’ Patent was filed in Europe, the USA & Canada in 2013.
4. Predictive Control Patent
TEL’s ‘Predictive Control’ Patent was filed in 2010 and is grant pending in the UK, Australia, Canada, China, Europe, Korea, New Zealand and the USA.
Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC)
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. Tidal power is sustainable, efficient and most importantly, it is predictable, meaning it has the potential to play a major role in providing lasting reliable energy security within the renewable energy mix.