npower renewables, February 7, 2008
npower renewables and tidal power developers Marine Current Turbines (MCT) announced a pioneering partnership to capable of deliver 10.5 MW from tidal stream projects off the coast of Anglesey, north Wales.
npower renewables and Marine Current Turbines will take forward the project through a newly created development company, SeaGen Wales. Subject to successful planning consent and financing, the tidal farm could be commissioned as early as 2011 or 2012.
Martin Wright, Managing Director at Marine Current Turbines said “npower renewables’ extensive experience in developing offshore renewable projects in the UK and Europe will be hugely valuable in taking forward the Anglesey project. Their involvement in SeaGen Wales highlights the very real potential that decentralised tidal energy can make to the UK energy mix. It is also a significant step in commercialising the technology to not only deliver the country’s carbon reduction targets, but also opens up new opportunities for our SeaGen technology to be deployed in other parts of the world.”
Managing Director of npower renewables, Paul Cowling, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have signed this agreement which positions us, with MCT, at the forefront nationally and globally, of commercial tidal stream energy generation. Tidal stream may be a young technology, but we are convinced by the results of MCT’s work to date, that this is a technology with the potential to make a valuable contribution to UK renewable energy supplies, and the battle against climate change.”
News of the deal comes less than a week after the launch of npower renewables’ new parent company, RWE Innogy, which has pooled all of RWE’s renewable energy activities across Europe. The new company has made strong commitments to investing in renewable energy schemes and expanding its portfolio.
Paul Cowling added: “npower renewables’ collaboration with MCT demonstrates RWE Innogy’s commitment to exploring more technologically innovative energy options for the future, as well as continuing to develop our existing and well proven wind and hydro portfolios around the UK.”
Working in collaboration with MCT, npower renewables, the leading UK renewable energy developer and operator, will take the new tidal stream project forward, initially through the consenting stages and with options to extend the partnership further.
It is proposed that the tidal stream project be sited in an area of 25 metre deep open sea known as the Skerries, off the north-west coast of Anglesey, north Wales. The scheme will consist of seven (7) 1.5MW SeaGen turbines, each likely to stand approximately 9 metres above sea level. Previous independent scoping studies have identified the Skerries as an ideal location for a tidal stream project, due to its favourable tidal conditions and natural shelter. The location benefits from good port facilities at Holyhead nearby, proximity to the National Grid facilitating good connection, and good transport links and access, to facilitate construction and maintenance.
Development of the site will start with a full assessment and detailed surveys of the environment and tidal resources, followed by preparation of an outline scheme incorporating the studies’ outcomes.
Studies are about to get started and will last throughout 2008, with a consent application likely to be submitted in mid 2009. Construction and commissioning timescales will be subject to the length of the planning process, but it is anticipated this could take place between 2011 and 2012.
Full consultation will be undertaken with local communities and other relevant stakeholders ahead of any planning application, and all issues raised during the consultation will be fed back into the design process prior to a final consent application.