Minesto announces plan to expand Holyhead Deep tidal energy array to 80 MW

Swedish tidal energy developer Minesto has announced its intent to scale the Holyhead Deep tidal array from a planned 10 MW of installed capacity to 80 MW.

Minesto already holds a lease agreement for the 10 MW installation, but recently submitted a scoping report to Natural Resources Wales detailing the proposed expansion after completing a study exploring its feasibility.

“This is an exciting opportunity to develop the tidal energy sector in Wales,” Minesto CEO Dr. Martin Edlund said. “In Holyhead, we have already created 15 full-time jobs to date. We have also created significant and tangible opportunities for the Welsh and U.K. supply chain.”

An independent study commissioned by the U.K. in January noted that the marine energy sector has the potential to be a transformative catalyst for the country’s economy.

“We have the chance to export Welsh skills and knowledge to what is quickly becoming a global market,” Marine Energy Wales project director David Jones said. “The expansion of Minesto’s project is positive step forward for the company, and also for the whole of the sector.”

Minesto has spent the past few years performing quarter-scale tests of its “Deep Green” generating units off the coast of Northern Ireland’s Strangford Lough while simultaneously working to launch the Holyhead Deep site.

The company has previously said it expects to deploy its first Deep Green units at Holy Head deep this summer. The tidal energy site will launch with a commercial-scale 0.5-MW power plant.

Financing for the project and Minesto’s technology has come from a number of sources. 

HydroWorld.com recently reported that Minesto had been awarded US$1.13 million by KIC InnoEnergy in June 2016, adding to a $3.84 million investment made in September 2015.

The group was also awarded a US$14.8 million investment from the European Regional Development Fund for Deep Green’s commercial rollout in May 2014, which helped lead to an order with Schottel Hydro to manufacture a prototype unit in April 2016.

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Michael Harris formerly was Editor for HydroWorld.com.

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