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MCT and RWE npower secures tidal site lease

Marine Current Turbines (MCT) and RWE npower renewables have secured an agreement for lease for the 10 MW Skerries Tidal Stream off the cost of Anglesey, north Wales, from the UK Crown Estate.

By Kari Williamson

The proposed tidal farm will consists of up to 9 tidal turbines in an area between the Skerries group of rocks and islands and Carmel Head about 1 km off the Anglesey coast.

The Crown Estate will issue the tidal project a lease, a necessary pre-condition for any offshore sea-bed installation in UK waters, once the required environmental consents for the project have been granted by the Welsh Government.

The consents application was submitted to the Welsh Government in March 2011 and a decision is expected within the next few months

MCT says it is now ramping up its efforts to raise the finance to build the £70 million tidal array.

Dr Andrew Tyler, CEO of MCT says: “With our proven SeaGen tidal technology and the necessary permits starting to fall into place, we are a good way along the path to deploy Wales’ first-ever tidal farm, and quite possibly the first tidal farm anywhere in UK waters.

"A critical element remains the financing of the Skerries project but I am confident that investment will be forthcoming given the valuable support to date by RWE and the strong interest in marine energy being shown by other utilities and energy companies. Our efforts are also helped by the UK Government’s declared ambitions to harness the energy in our coastal waters and to build a new clean-tech industry in this country.”

Subject to securing planning and financing for the project, MCT and RWE npower renewables are targeting 2014/2015 for the start of commissioning of the tidal array.

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