Cardiff-based tidal stream technology company, Tidal Energy Ltd (TEL), has announced revised plans for the deployment of its full-scale tidal energy generator in Ramsey Sound, Pembrokeshire.
The Company is currently reviewing its installation options and exploring different revenue streams for the project’s deployment and its planned 10MW commercial array scheme off St Davids Head.
Martin Murphy, Managing Director of TEL said, “We fully intend to install our patented DeltaStream device before the autumn of this year. We were extremely frustrated by virtually continuous poor weather conditions last winter, when the device was ready to go in the water following the successful completion of the commissioning programme and grid connection infrastructure.
“Inevitably, delay has led us to incur additional costs, not only in our standing overhead charges, but also for a re-commissioning programme and additional survey work to carry out a ‘health’ check of all our systems. As a result, we are looking at additional funding streams for our plans, while we remain grateful for the continuing support from the Welsh Government. ”
Murphy added, “As a Company, we are immensely proud of the DeltaStream device and everything we have achieved to date. We now must have one final push to get into Ramsey Sound as quickly as possible. Once the funding has been unlocked, we will mobilise the resources we need to complete installation, which is likely to take a 30 day period. We are looking forward to sea trials of DeltaStream when we will study not only the technical performance of the device but also its interaction with the environment.
“We have a lot to contribute in demonstrating the viability of this renewable energy source and want to move on to our commercial scale demonstration at St Davids Head as soon as possible – all being well in 2017.”
In looking to the future, a grant of £50,000 was recently awarded to TEL through the SMARTCymru programme from Welsh Government, funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The company is using the research funding to develop its removable nacelle system.
Chris Williams, Development Director at TEL said, “The development of removable nacelles, which are the DeltaStream’s turbines, will result in a significant reduction to the operational costs associated with the maintenance of the unit. They will also increase the power output and provide an economically enhanced product to meet the needs of the tidal energy industry. We are constantly developing and improving the device in preparation for commercial operation.”
Commenting on the design of the DeltaStream unit, Williams said, “We have something very special in the DeltaStream device. Unlike other tidal devices currently being developed, our multi-patented unit combines a freestanding triangular design with a state-of-the-art hydraulic yaw steering system, which ensures the turbine freely turns to capture the best tidal flow and maximise power generation.
“It is also innovative in that DeltaStream sits on the seabed held there by its own weight. It avoids the need for expensive drilling into the seabed and ensures low installation and maintenance costs relative to the electricity it generates.”
The Ramsey Sound scheme is considered to be the first private marine project to be developed in Wales.