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Wales’ first full-scale tidal energy device is installed

A Welsh tidal stream technology company has installed the country’s first tidal energy generator in Ramsey Sound, Pembrokeshire.

Developed by Cardiff-based Tidal Energy Ltd, the DeltaStream device will become one of the first grid-connected demonstration devices worldwide to generate green, sustainable and predictable tidal power.

The patented DeltaStream device was loaded off the quayside in Pembroke Port yesterday by the offshore construction vessel ‘Siem Daya 1’, before making the short passage to Ramsey Sound for installation during today’s suitable tidal window.

Managing Director of Tidal Energy Ltd, Martin Murphy said, “The deployment of DeltaStream marks a significant achievement for the original inventor of the device, Richard Ayre, and for our team, our shareholders, Wales and the wider tidal industry. We are immensely proud to be one of the frontrunners of tidal energy development in this nascent industry, which has great and far-reaching potential for green energy production.”

Weighing 200 tonnes, with a frame 16m long and height of 18m, the DeltaStream 400kW demonstration device has a gravity-based foundation which sits on the seabed under its own weight, without the need to drill or pile the structure into the seabed.

Chris Williams, Development Director of TEL said, “After initial testing and commissioning of the device in the next few days, DeltaStream will gather data relating to its electricity generating performance and environmental impact over the coming months. We intend to recover the device for inspection and upgrade work next year.”

The company says that Ramsey Sound was chosen as the test-site for the device because it is sheltered from prevailing wind and wave conditions, but has a good tidal climate with tidal streams reaching up to 3m/s on spring tides. There is a good grid connection feeding electricity to St Davids city and excellent port facilities and marine engineering capabilities nearby in Pembroke Port.

Chris Williams added, “We have worked closely with the local supply chain and contractors to install the necessary infrastructure to make this project happen. We would like to thank those organisations involved for their hard work, resilience and support which has helped us reach this pivotal milestone. We look forward to building upon this by further developing skills and creating green jobs in the area.”

A total of around £15M has been invested in the project, which has been provided by the company’s majority shareholder, Welsh renewable energy company Eco2 Ltd, along with EU funds worth £8M delivered through the Welsh Government. 

“The DeltaStream device literally takes renewable power generation out of sight, minimising environmental impact whilst harnessing the largely untapped energy resources of the oceans. There is great potential here and we look forward to demonstrating the viability of our technology and developing our commercial scale demonstration project at St Davids Head.”

The site at St Davids Head in Pembrokeshire is two miles north of Ramsey Sound and is being developed by Eco2 in partnership with Tidal Energy Ltd. This will involve up to nine DeltaStream devices being deployed, generating enough power for approximately 10,000 homes. 

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