Nordic marine energy technology leader Minesto, has identified Wales as a possible location for a full-scale deployment of its marine power plant Deep Green. Deep Green is the only known marine power plant in the world that is able to cost effectively produce electricity from low velocity tidal and ocean currents. Welsh waters are very rich in low velocity tidal currents.
Minesto has identified the Welsh waters as a candidate for a full-scale deployment of Deep Green after extensive measurements of the sea conditions carried out by SEACAMS, a Welsh research project that offers marine businesses access to research facilities, expertise and knowledge from Welsh Universities. SEACAMS objective is to help expand the coastal and marine sector in Wales and its activities are supported by European Regional Development Funding through the Welsh Government.
Minesto has for some time worked with SEACAMS on detailed site studies for marine renewable energy projects in Welsh waters. Data on tidal currents and seabed conditions has been collected and processed by SEACAMS, and evaluated by Minesto. Minesto regards these data as very promising for a future full-scale deployment of its Deep Green marine power plants.
Job opportunities, local expertise to be gained
“We are very excited about these promising developments, and we see great potential for marine energy in Wales,” said Anders Jansson, CEO, Minesto. ”This could bring highly qualified job opportunities to the region and also build local expertise in marine energy.”
The Welsh government has made development of renewable marine energy a priority. Recently, a report commissioned by the Welsh government showed that marine energy could boost the Welsh economy by up to £840m annually. The UK and Irish waters are especially promising for marine energy, due to the islands’ geographical location. UK and Ireland can provide 25-50 per cent of total European marine energy (RenewableUK).
Tidal power from high velocity currents has great potential in the UK and the potential is more than doubled when slow currents, in which Deep Green operates, are included. Wales has a particularly good tidal power potential in slow currents (1.5-2.5 m/s). In addition, Wales has a strong accessible grid which would remove a major hurdle for a rapid expansion of marine energy projects. All these factors speak in favour of marine energy in Wales. (This map shows tidal currents and the national grid in Wales.)
“We are very grateful for the support and professional operations by SEACAMS, Marine Energy Pembrokeshire , Anglesey Energy Island and other Welsh stakeholders,” said Mr Jansson. “They are doing exactly the rights things with a long term view of establishing Wales as a marine energy hotbed.”
”We look at Minesto’s interest for Wales in a very positive light and would warmly welcome them to the region,” said Dr John Idris Jones, Director of the Anglesey Energy Island Programme, a private-public sector partnership established by the Isle of Anglesey County Council for economic development and energy research in Anglesey and North West Wales. “Minesto’s Deep Green technology is important to supplement other tidal energy device developers that are also active in the region.”
Deep Green is currently undergoing advanced sea trials in Strangford Lough, Northern Ireland as part of the commercialisation of this innovative technology. Deep Green has the potential to double the amount of tidal power that the UK can produce since it is the only available solution that works cost-effectively in slow currents.
Sweeping underwater kite
Deep Green resembles a sweeping underwater kite, comprised of a wing and a turbine, which is secured to the seabed with a tether and moves with high speed in an 8-shaped path in the tidal or ocean current. It is the only known technology in the world that is capable of producing energy in a cost-efficient manner in slow currents. Deep Green produces 100 per cent renewable tidal energy.
Compared to other traditional and renewable energy sources, tidal and ocean current energy is considerably more predictable and reliable and causes no visual impact and positive environmental impact. Marine energy from the world’s ocean has huge potential. Deep Green, with its low weight and ability to operate in low velocity currents, has several advantages compared to other tidal and ocean current power plants: the catchment area is much larger, and service and maintenance is more cost effective, resulting in low electricity production costs, comparable with traditional energy sources.
Press Release, September 10, 2013