Isle of Wight MP Andrew Turner has run up the flag to celebrate the arrival of innovative technology company Sustainable Marine Energy (SME) at its new offices and workshops at Trinity Wharf, East Cowes.
The company has relocated from London because it believes the Isle of Wight has the right support and businesses to enable it to build a pioneering new tidal energy turbine platform.
Called PLAT-O, the platform is designed to cut the high installation and maintenance costs and risks traditionally associated with tidal energy devices.
It will be built with the help of local companies and is expected to create jobs on the island as the project progresses.
SME is aiming to make clean tidal energy a realistic alternative to electricity generated using fossil fuels, and the company hopes to help the Isle of Wight Council achieve its ambition for the island to become self-sufficient in locally generated renewable electricity by 2020.
PLAT-O’s prototype platform will be undergoing sea trials supported by Yarmouth Harbour, and on-going discussions with the Isle of Wight Council and TB Partners will continue in relation to longer-term test and demonstration opportunities.
Opening SME’s offices Mr Turner MP said: “Building stable and sustainable power supplies is one of the key challenges that face our country. Tidal energy has real potential to be a key part of achieving our aims and around the Island we have the natural resources to provide both test facilities and production capacity as the new technology matures.
“I am delighted that SME have decided to relocate to the Island; in doing so they have recognised the history we have in advancing innovative technologies, and even more importantly the opportunities for the future. I am sure the company will go from strength to strength.”
Jason Hayman, Managing Director of SME, said: “We are delighted and excited to be opening our new offices and workshops here in the Isle of Wight, and we are looking forward to making a real contribution to the local community by helping to provide cost efficient and green electricity generated using our PLAT-O devices.
“We are very grateful to the Isle of Wight Council for supporting us in our relocation to East Cowes, and to Yarmouth Harbour for enabling us to carry out our sea trials.
“We have also been extremely impressed by the technical capabilities and can-do attitude of businesses on the island. This really is a hub of engineering innovation and expertise with a history I know the people of the Isle of Wight are proud of and this will help us in developing PLAT-O.”
Chris Lisher, Harbour Master of Yarmouth Harbour, said: “Yarmouth Harbour Commissioners are delighted to support Sustainable Marine Energy by providing a test site and help for its tidal turbine trial.
“The Commissioners are fully supportive of all types of tidal and wave energy, both for use by the harbour and the local community, but also for the greater good in the UK.
“This initiative adds to Yarmouth Harbour’s green credentials following its use of solar energy to produce electricity and to supplement its water heating.”
Press Release, May 31, 2013