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Tidal Energy wins £11m for Wales’ first full tidal power project

The full-scale tidal power generator will begin operating in 2012, having secured funding from the EU and other sources.

By Isabella Kaminski

Tidal Energy Ltd’s 1.2 MW DeltaStream, the first full-scale tidal stream energy generator in Wales, has won £6.4 million from the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Assembly Government.

In total, Tidal Energy has secured £11m to manufacture and deploy the DeltaStream tidal energy device, the balance being provided by majority shareholder Eco2.

Cranfield University, which has provided specialist design support to the project over the past three years, will continue its research and development work and will help deploy of the prototype, overseeing condition monitoring and device performance.

DeltaStream, which was invented by Pembrokeshire engineer Richard Ayre, sits on the seabed without the need for a positive anchoring system. It generates tidal electricity from three separate horizontal axis turbines mounted on a common frame.

The tidal device will provide electricity to homes in the city of St Davids during its 12-month demonstration period.

Carwyn Jones, Wales’ First Minister, says: “There is huge potential for marine energy in Wales and projects like DeltaStream will not only help meet our energy targets, but will provide further opportunities for local communities as well as businesses, creating both environmental and economic benefits.”

Martin Murphy, Managing Director of Tidal Energy, says: “This funding announcement comes at a pivotal stage in the project and will provide Wales with a unique opportunity to develop and demonstrate a home-grown tidal stream technology.

"The next step for the scheme will be the manufacture of the DeltaStream device, ready for installation in 2012. Procurement for the fabrication and installation of DeltaStream is underway and the project will create a significant number of green jobs.”

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Policy, investment and markets  •  Wave and tidal energy