Wales’ first tidal stream energy generator has just been given the green light after the EU promised £6.4m investment towards the project. The development will be based on the west coast of Wales and shall generate green energy for homes and businesses in the surrounding areas.
Image: Tidal Energy Ltd
The Delta Stream generator works by sitting on the seabed and using the tidal currents to generate renewable energy. Overall the energy generator will be costing in the region of £11 million and should be fully operational by the end of 2012.
Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones seemed pleased about the development and said “Investing in renewable energy technologies is vital to build a low carbon economy and help drive forward Wales’ ambitions to become a more sustainable nation.”
It is believed the project shall go a long way to helping Wales reach its renewable energy obligations as with each unit comes the potential to power up to 1000 homes.
As you can see from the image above the concept is relatively simple: Each 1.2MW unit is made up of 3 turbines fitted to a triangular frame, measuring approximately 30m wide and weighing around 250 tonnes. One of the strongest selling points is that the device requires no installation and can simply be rested on the sea bed. Tidal Energy recommends using in depths of 20m or more for best performance.