New wave energy device to be developed in Pembrokeshire

Cornwall-based Wave-tricity has secured £4m in EU funds through the Welsh Government to develop and test a new device called the Ocean Wave Rower

The latest project to develop and test a wave energy device off the Pembrokeshire coast will be launched today. The £5.8m scheme by Cornwall-based company Wave-tricity has secured £4m in EU funds through the Welsh Government. The money will be used to develop and test a new device called the Ocean Wave Rower.

It’s the latest investment in marine energy to be made in Wales, with EU funding of £12m already having been committed to projects including Minesto’s Deep Green tidal array being developed in Anglesey and Marine Power Solutions’ WaveSub technology which is due to be deployed in Pembroke Port in December.

Finance Secretary Mark Drakeford said: “Marine energy is an important sector and Wales has excellent natural resources which can be harnessed. I am delighted this investment will bring another significant energy project to Pembrokeshire.

“It’s very encouraging that this scheme, which has such potential is being developed in Wales, particularly as it will lead to good employment and business opportunities in the local area.”

The Ocean Wave Rower, like other wave energy devices, is designed to generate electricity by capturing the motion of the waves.

Two-year project

The two-year project aims to pave the way for full-scale deployment of the technology and the development of a long-term sustainable business in West Wales following the successful testing.

The EU funding, which will be matched by £1.8m from the company, is expected to lead to the creation of new jobs in engineering and operations at Wave-tricity in Pembrokeshire and supply chain opportunities for local businesses.

Matthew Fairclough-Kay, managing director at Wave-tricity, said: “This announcement marks a key milestone for the company. Everyone on the Wave-tricity team is looking forward to starting operations in Pembrokeshire and bringing the prospect of clean wave energy a step closer to commercial success.

“The support of the Welsh Government and EU funding demonstrates a clear commitment to sustainable economic growth. Allied to a strong base of local expertise, this signals a bright future for marine energy in Wales. It’s great to be on board.”

WaveSub tested in Plymouth

Last month Swansea-based Marine Power Systems announced it had completed scaled tank testing of its WaveSub device in collaboration with experts from the University of Bath. The testing took place at Plymouth University’s Coastal, Ocean and Sediment Transport (COAST) laboratory.

It has now engaged with Astute 2020 to research simulations that will allow it to de-risk the build and test stage of the WaveSub power take off float.

Professor Drakeford added: “Worth around £650m every year, EU funds are vitally important to Wales. This is yet another positive example of how we are investing EU funding to build a thriving marine energy sector which will deliver a range of sustainable, economic benefits.

“It is our priority to ensure Wales does not lose a penny of the EU funds we currently receive, following the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union. We are in on-going discussions with the UK Government about guaranteeing funds for projects agreed after the Autumn Statement.

“We will continue to maximise the use of our existing EU funds, approving schemes and projects over the next two years, to ensure Wales gets the full benefit of this important source of funding.”

 

By Chris Kelsey

(Source:  www.walesonline.co.uk; 6 Sept 2016; http://tinyurl.com/jtkelkg)

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