Siemens’ new tidal turbine testing and assembly facility was officially opened in Bristol today.
The new 25,000 square foot facility will be the base for the development of drive trains used in SeaGen – the tidal turbine developed by Bristol-based Marine Current Turbines (MCT), now owned by Siemens.
The plant will be used for series production of the systems which will be deployed on multi-turbine arrays like the 10MW Skerries project off the north-west coast of Anglesey in North Wales that won £10m of Government funding in February.
Speaking at the opening Energy Secretary Edward Davey said: "Siemens' new testing and assembly facility for tidal turbines in Bristol is a real boost for the South West and for the UK's world leading marine energy industry.
"Wave and tidal power has an important part to play in our low carbon energy mix, with the potential to sustain up to 19,000 jobs in this sector alone by 2035.
"That's why the Coalition has announced levels of support for wave and tidal power generation that are higher than any other low carbon technology.
"I want to see the sector take the final steps to get these exciting technologies to market, so it's great to see Siemens ramping up their involvement in marine power, I wish the new centre every success."
The facility will be the first of its kind in the UK and will be used by the MCT team to assemble and test the first drive trains while full system testing of the drive trains will be completed at Narec in Northumberland.
Achim Wörner, CEO of Siemens Energy Hydro and Ocean Unit, said: "The UK is a key market for Siemens in further developing this pioneering technology. The UK has the right combination of coastal and tidal factors and market development and a favourable investment environment is supported by the government.
“Our proven SeaGen technology operating successfully in Strangford Lough in Northern Ireland since 2008 is capable of full-scale commercialisation and wider deployment.
“Investment in the new assembly and testing facility in Bristol will enable us to make this step to develop next-generation tidal technology as well as larger arrays. Further commercialisation will have a positive effect on the supply chain, job creation and the generation of eco-friendly electricity for the UK.”