Tidal energy generator installed in Wales

A Welsh company has installed the country’s first tidal energy generator in Ramsey Sound, Pembrokeshire. 

The DeltaStream generator has been developed by Cardiff-based firm Tidal Energy and will become one of the first grid-connected demonstration devices worldwide to generate green, sustainable and predictable tidal power. 

The device was loaded off the quayside in Pembroke Port earlier this week, before making the short passage to Ramsey Sound for installation.

Weighing 200 tonnes, with a frame 16m long and height of 18m, the DeltaStream 400kW demonstration device has a gravity-based foundation, which sits on the seabed under its own weight, without the need to drill or pile the structure into the seabed.

“The deployment of DeltaStream marks a significant achievement for the original inventor of the device, Richard Ayre, and for our team, our shareholders, Wales and the wider tidal industry,” said Tidal Energy Managing Director, Martin Murphy.

“We are immensely proud to be one of the frontrunners of tidal energy development in this nascent industry, which has great and far-reaching potential for green energy production.”

Chris Williams, Development Director of TEL said, “After initial testing and commissioning of the device in the next few days, DeltaStream will gather data relating to its electricity generating performance and environmental impact over the coming months. We intend to recover the device for inspection and upgrade work next year.”

A total of around £15M has been invested in the project, which has been provided by majority shareholder, Welsh renewable energy company Eco2 Ltd, along with EU funds worth £8M delivered through the Welsh Government.

Jamie Hailstone is a freelance journalist and author, specializing in local government and energy issues