Britain’s first Tidal power farm — off Anglesey coast

Npower Renewables have teamed up with Marine Current Turbines (MCT) to propose seven tidal current turbines generating 1.5 MW three km north-west of the coast of the Anglesey in an area known as the Skerries.

MCT’s earlier plans were for ten 1.2 MW turbines, as designed for the Strangford Lough prototype, and to erect their commercial wind farm in the Skerries from 2008. But delays in the Lough and a change in commercial partners have caused the schedule to slip – and scaled down the original talk of tapping 100 MW of the total 180 MW.

proposed tidal power farm


However, in the interim, R&D has produced up-graded turbines generating 1.5 MW, which will be erected on monopiles in 25m deep water. The monopile and housing will protrude 9 m above the mean tide height, as pictured.

Npower and MCT have formed a company SeaGen Wales and say they hope the tidal farm could be commissioned as early as 2011 or 2012. Paul Cowling, managing director of Npower Renewables, said he believed the Skerries project provided the perfect solution for exploring new green power technology.

Tidal streamtidal stream The flow of water through channels or around coastlines as a result of tidal water movement 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.”

The Skerries site is advantageous because of the strong currents and location close to the national grid to Wylfa power station and 14 km from the port of Holyhead.

A full assessment and detailed surveys of the surrounding environment and tidal resources will get underway shortly and continue through the rest of 2008.

Neil Crumpton, of Friends of the Earth Cymru, welcomed the project as a boost for green power sources. “Britain has a great tidal stream resource along its coast. We need to develop these renewable energy resources – it can’t be beat,” he said.

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