£70m tidal power scheme goes on display in Anglesey

Plans for a project which would use tidal power to generate electricity went on display in Holyhead, Anglesey.

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Plans to harness tidal power off the coast of Anglesey are going on public display.

Marine Current Turbines and RWE npower renewables hope to generate a fifth of the island's electricity needs from the £70m project.

If given the go-ahead, seven turbines between the Skerries and Carmel Head would act like an underwater windmill.

A two-day exhibition is starting in Holyhead. Technical studies have been carried out for the past 18 months.

The 10MW tidal farm would be located about 1km off the island, close to the Skerries, a group of rocks and islands off the north west coast.

Developers, who first announced the plans two years ago, say the Skerries Tidal Stream Array would essentially be a windmill under the sea surface.

The offshore planning application is due to be submitted to the Welsh Assembly Government next month, with 2013-14 the target date for the start of commissioning.

Those consulted include Anglesey council, the Countryside Council for Wales, RSPB, Maritime & Coastguard Agency, as well as sailing and fishing groups.

Joseph Kidd, development manager at MCT, said: "We consider the Skerries stretch of water to be an ideal site for a small tidal farm and we are keen to hear people's views before we finalise the planning application.

"The exhibition is also an opportunity for people to learn more about the advantages of tidal power and how our scheme can benefit the Anglesey economy.

TIDAL PROJECT FACTS

  • The tidal stream scheme would be located in 25m deep sea
  • The seven submerged turbines would stand 9m (30ft) above sea level
  • Single turbine capacity of 1.5MW and a total capacity of 10.5MW
  • The technology involves of twin axial flow rotors, up to 20m diameter
  • Each rotor drives a generator via a gearbox much like a hydro-electric turbine or a wind turbine
  • Source: SeaGeneration Wales Ltd

"The scheme will not only generate clean energy but also give local firms the chance to be involved in the tidal farm's installation and operation."

MCT already operates a single turbine tidal energy project in Strangford Lough in Northern Ireland.

It says local engineering, diving and marine support businesses have benefited from the project over the past three years.

The joint developers have set up SeaGeneration Wales Ltd to operate the project.

Anglesey MP Albert Owen said: "I welcome all forms of renewable energy and hope that people will take this opportunity to look at this technology and the future that Anglesey has in tidal power."

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