Tidal Energy, a Welsh pioneering renewable energy company, has installed its first demonstrator in Pembrokeshire

Tidal power demonstrator unveiled in Wales

The first full-scale tidal energy generator in Wales has been unveiled to begin a technology trial ahead of  a10 MW array installation. 

The device, an underwater turbine mounted on a free-standing base to capture the power of the tides, will be installed in Ramsey Sound, Pembrokeshire.

Its backers say it will be among the world's first demonstration devices connected to the grid to generate green, renewable and predictable tidal power.

After a 12-month testing period, up to nine tidal devices will be installed off St Davids Head in Pembrokeshire to form a 10 megawatt array which will generate enough power for around 10,000 homes.

The DeltaStream device, developed by Tidal Energy Ltd (TEL) weighs 150 tonnes, and has a 16 metre by 20 metre (23ft by 66ft) frame, but does not require costly drilling into the seabed, minimising environmental impact.

"The imminent launch of DeltaStream, and the supply chain that now exists as a consequence of its development, marks the birth of the tidal industry in Wales,” said Tidal Energy's managing director Martin Murphy.

"We remain committed to leading the expansion of the industry and to the creation of green jobs by building on the wealth of expertise present in the UK and the country's plentiful resources."

The launch of the tidal device was welcomed by the First Minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones, who said: "This is a landmark project for Wales, which will not only help us to meet our sustainable energy ambitions, but will also provide significant opportunities for local people and businesses."

Tidal Energy has received £8m from the European Regional Development Fund to get the project off the ground plus additional £8m from Welsh renewables company Eco2 Ltd, which will help TEL to install the further devices.

David Williams, chief executive of Eco2, said: "The St Davids Head project will serve to further prove the commercial viability of DeltaStream and marine renewable energy as a whole.

"The device has excellent export potential for deployment in high energy tidal sites around the world, and we intend to harness this tidal potential."

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