Strumble Head tidal flow project in Wales receives initial funding

Transition Bro Gwaun (TBG), a local community action group based in Pembrokeshire, Wales, announced this week it has received about US$122,000 in initial funding to develop a single device or a small array of tidal turbines at Strumble Head.

Strumble Head is a rocky headland in the community of Pencaer in north Pembrokeshire and the Strumble Head tidal flow project aims to realize the first community owned/led tidal flow project in Wales.

This initial funding for the tidal energy project supports a part-time development officer, and administrator/support worker.

Funding is being provided by LEADER, part of the Welsh government’s Rural Development Program 2014–2020, which is financed by the Welsh government and European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.

LEADER will also resource fact finding missions, developing wider partnerships and gaining knowledge by visiting sites which are further forward in the tidal energy market, or have successfully installed devices, according to the organization.

Strumble Head tidal Flow

According to government documents, 2016 research for the project was undertaken by a partnership of marine experts from Bangor, Aberystwyth and Swansea universities. Under the Sustainable Expansion of the Applied Coastal and Marine Sectors (SEACAMS) program, the group conducted a study for TBG identifying potential areas of the seabed off Strumble Head that could accommodate tidal flow devices.

This project would support TBG’s aims to mitigate the community’s impact on climate change and provide a sustainable energy source and security of supply.

Following the SEACAMS report, TBG has engaged with key stakeholder organizations to raise awareness of the project and to initiate potential partnerships.

The Strumble Head location is at a west-facing coastline of high, rugged, indented cliffs that rise from 40 m to the north to 90 m and then 140 m around Penbwchdy. Landform rises further inland to the outcrop at Garn Fawr and is composed of east-west striking Ordovician basic volcanics and intrusions among black shales (Fishguard Volcanic Group).

The shallow to moderate depth seafloor, where the Ordovician volcanic succession is covered by conglomerate, slopes offshore at a low to steep angle. Tidal races form off Strumble Head on east and west flowing streams at about 2.5 knots, according to the SEACAMS report.

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Gregory B. Poindexter formerly was an associate editor for HydroWorld.com.

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