Wave Hub has appointed Black & Veatch to undertake a feasibility study into the Pembrokeshire demonstration zone, a planned offshore site for testing multiple wave energy arrays of up to 30MW each.
The study will prepare an outline design specification for the on and offshore grid infrastructure, start the consent process by completing the Environmental Impact Assessment scoping exercise, assess how commercially viable the site is, and undertake a socio-economic study including analysis of the likely local supply chain benefits.
Wave Hub secured the seabed lease for the Pembrokeshire wave energy site from the Crown Estate and acts as the Third Party Manager.
Wave Hub Ltd’s managing director, Claire Gibson, said: “We very much look forward to working with Black & Veatch to help us understand how technically feasible and commercially viable the Pembrokeshire Demonstration Zone is. Throughout the study we will be engaging with industry and local stakeholders to ensure our plans are fit for purpose and take into account any local concerns.”
Black & Veatch will manage this work from their Swansea office. The project manager, Tim Baker, said: “We are very pleased to be able to use our considerable experience in marine energy to support Wave Hub in this important project. The project will be led by Black & Veatch, supported by Morlais Energy and Royal HaskoningDHV. Black & Veatch is committed to help the UK develop a low-carbon economy through projects such as this that aim to address the commercial barriers to delivering renewable energy.”
This study is being supported by funding from the Welsh Government, including the European Regional Development Fund for West Wales and the Valleys which has allocated €100 million to develop marine energy in Wales and increase the number of wave and tidal energy devices being tested in Welsh waters.
The contract award followed an open procurement exercise that resulted in 24 tenders being evaluated by Wave Hub Ltd. The feasibility study is expected to take 9 months, with completion programmed for the end of January 2018.
The Pembrokeshire Demonstration Zone forms part of the Pembroke Dock Marine project to develop a world class centre for marine energy development, fabrication, testing and deployment in Pembrokeshire. This is one of 11 projects included in the Swansea Bay City Deal that was signed by the Prime Minister and Welsh First Minister on 20 March this year.