An innovative project to generate tidal energy in Ramsey Sound off Pembrokeshire, Wales, was today given the go ahead by the UK’s Energy and Climate Change secretary Chris Huhne. 

Tidal Energy Limited’s 1.2MW ‘Deltastream’ device will export electricity to the local distribution network during its 12 month test period. 

The device will be assembled in West Wales and provide skilled jobs for the local economy. It has been specifically designed to be sensitive to the local environment. 

Tidal Energy Limited was set up by a team of marine engineering and renewable energy experts to develop DeltaStream. Located in Cardiff, Wales, the company is funded by Eco2 and Carbon Connections.

The DeltaStream device is a nominal 1.2MW unit which sits on the seabed without the need for a positive anchoring system, generating electricity from three separate horizontal axis turbines mounted on a common frame.

The use of three turbines on a single, 30m wide triangular frame produces a low centre of gravity enabling the device to satisfy its structural stability requirements including the avoidance of overturning and sliding. In other respects DeltaStream uses the same concept as a wind turbine combined with marine propeller technology.

DeltaStream was conceived by marine engineer Richard Ayre with initial research funding from Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Marine Nature Reserve. Experts from Cranfield University in England undertook detailed design and optimisation of the blade design with funding from Carbon Connections.

The development was welcomed by Chris Huhne who said: “The UK’s great marine heritage and its engineering genius make the potential for wave and tidal energy here vast. We must make the most of our natural marine resource, not just to cut our emissions, but to boost energy security and create jobs.”