£25m marine power plant launched in Wales

Swedish company Minesto has been awarded a £9.5m EU grant to set up a marine power plant in North Wales.

The 10 MW array is expected to be operational by 2019, when it will supply enough electricity for 8,000 households.

The 10 MW array is expected to be operational by 2019, when it will supply enough electricity for 8,000 households.

Minesto will use the money to establish a UK headquarters and install its 'Deep Green' turbine system off the coast of Holyhead.

The so-called Deep Green, operates like an underwater kite, and claims to be the only proven marine power plant to generate electricity from low velocity tidal currents. Cleverly, the kites can reach speeds up to 10 times higher than the water current.

The 10 MW array is expected to be operational by 2019, when it will supply enough electricity for 8,000 households.

The full cost of the project is expected to be £25m, with the rest of the money to be raised privately.

Raw resources

Wales First Minister Carwyn Jones said: ""We have extensive raw wave and tidal energy resources along our shorelines, and this is an excellent example of commercial solutions being developed in Wales to help drive our potential to be a world-leader in the marine energy market.

"This investment will not only help create greener and more efficient sources of energy, but will also create jobs and vital opportunities for growth in North Wales."

Wales has 1,200 kilometres of coastline with low velocity tidal currents, with the potential to supply more than 5% of the UK's total electricity demand.

According to a report commissioned by the Welsh Government, 1GW of marine energy could boost the Welsh economy by up to £840m annually. This is the second major marine power system to get funding in Wales in recent months, after the £80m tidal lagoon project in Swansea.

Potential

Minesto CEO Anders Jansson said: "Today's announcement represents an important step into the full commercialisation of marine energy in Wales."

This is great news, not only for us as a company, but also for Wales as a region - and indeed the entire marine energy industry, since this marks an important recognition of the potential of marine energy in Wales and elsewhere."

Deep Green has been producing electricity in the waters off Northern Ireland for almost two years now.

How Deep Green works:

Brad Allen


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