Plans by a marine energy device producer and RWE npower renewables to install and operate Wales’s first tidal energy farm have moved a step closer.
Marine Current Turbines (MCT) and RWE have gained agreement from the Crown Estate that they can get a lease for their Skerries Tidal Stream Array, proposed for the waters off the coast of Anglesey once environmental consents have been gained.
The proposed 10MW energy scheme would be made up of nine turbines and would be capable of generating enough power to supply electricity to up to 10,000 homes – about 20% of Anglesey’s electricity demand, said MCT.
The company is now ramping up its efforts to raise the finance to build the tidal array at an estimated cost of £70million.
Subject to securing planning and financing, the consortium, under a project company called SeaGeneration (Wales) is targeting 2014-2015 for the start of commissioning.
Andrew Tyler, chief executive of MCT, said: “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.”