Tidal power site to be UK’s biggest

Posted on 28 Feb 2013

The Welsh Government has approved the development of the Skerries Tidal Stream Array, which will be Wales’ first commercial tidal energy farm.

The Skerries tidal array, the largest of its kind to be given consent in the UK at 10MW, will be developed by Siemens-owned Marine Current Turbines (MCT).

The project will consist of five SeaGen 2MW tidal stream turbines in an area one kilometre off the Anglesey coast close to the port of Holyhead, approximately 20m to 40m below the surface. The turbines will generate enough eco-friendly electricity to power up to 10,000 homes in Anglesey.

The granting of the marine licence opens the door for the project to secure £10m of funding from the Department of Energy and Climate Change’s Marine Energy Array Demonstration Fund. The grant depended on the Welsh government’s approval.

“We have worked closely with MCT from when they first showed interest in the development of the site”, said First Minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones. “The next step is to develop the industry so that tidal power can contribute towards our future energy mix.”

SeaGen has operated a 1.2MW turbine at Strangford Lough since 2008

Greg Barker, minister of state for climate change, said: “With amazing tidal resource and outstanding technical know-how the UK is already leading the way on marine power and I want to ensure we stay top of this table.”

The new larger turbines will be tested at the National Renewable Energy Centre in Blyth. Six months of tests will take place in Narec’s 3MW capacity Drive Train Test Facility in preparation for deployment offshore.  The onshore testing will eliminate the long time and high costs of testing at sea.


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