Tidal Energy awarded funding for environmental monitoring study

Renewable marine energy firm Tidal Energy has been awarded £389,000 from the Carbon Trust to finance environmental monitoring work in Wales.

Tidal Energy, which is working to develop Wales' first full scale tidal stream energy generator in 2012, plans to use the funding to make its environmental assessment data available to the wider marine energy industry in Wales.

It plans to carry out the monitoring work at its Ramsey Sound demonstration site off the Pembrokeshire coast.

Tidal Energy's development director, Chris Williams, said the company hopes the environmental assessment work will help the Welsh marine energy industry grow by providing better understanding of how devices can be used to interact with the marine environment.

He said: "The Welsh Government believes that the deployment of tidal and wave devices off the nation's 1200km coastline could provide as much as 4GW of clean, predictable electricity by as early as 2025.

"This represents a huge opportunity but In order to achieve this goal, we must understand more about how devices interact with the marine environment.

"We believe our device can combine high efficiency and portability with the crucial advantage of being environmentally benign. We are grateful to the Carbon Trust for helping fund assessments that we hope will verify this. By making data available to the market, we hope others can benefit from our research."

The new grant follows £11M in match funding from the European Regional Development Fund and majority shareholder and renewable energy company, Eco2, which Tidal Energy secured through the Welsh Government to manufacture and deploy its energy generating1.2MW DeltaStream device.

The device, which has been designed to have minimal impact on the environment, sits on the sea bed without the need for a positive anchoring system to generate electricity from three separate horizontal axis turbines mounted on a common frame.

It is anticipated the device will provide a sustainable source of electricity to homes in the city of St Davids during its 12 month demonstration period, commencing next year.

Carys Matthews



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