The Welsh government has awarded US$14.45 million to marine energy developer Minesto as part of its European Regional Development Fund.
The company said the investment is part of a “commercial roll out”, which includes the establishment of the Minesto UK Headquarters in North Wales and the commissioning of its first commercial “Deep Green” generating unit.
“Establishing Minesto UK Headquarters in North Wales is a strategic decision that will help make Wales a global leader in the marine energy sector,” Minesto CEO Anders Jansson said. “In the short term, around 30 direct jobs will be created, followed by hundreds more in the long term in areas like manufacturing, offshore operations and new project development.”
Minesto said it will first install a 500 kW power plant in Holyhead Deep west of Anglesey, North Wales, followed by additional deployments that will eventually create a 10 MW array that is expected to be operational by 2019.
Minesto — one of several companies recently cited by Marine Energy Pembrokeshire as having a positive impact on the Welsh economy — has been working for several years to bring the investment to Noth Wales.
“I am delighted that this EU funds investment has helped pave the wave for Minesto to set up its UK headquarters in North Wales, which will create high quality jobs in what is a rapidly expanding and important sector for Wales,” First Minister Carwyn Jones said. “We have extensive raw wave and tidal energy resources along our shorelines, and this is an excellent example of commercial solutions being developed in wales to help drive our potential to be a world leader in the marine energy market.”
The country has 1,200 kilometers of low-velocity tidal currents, with the potential to provide more than 5% of the United Kingdom’s total power.
A quarter-scale prototype of a Deep Green unit is currently producing power in Northern Ireland’s Strangford Lough.
HydroWorld.com reported last September that Minesto and Atlantis Resources Ltd. were awarded close to $960,000 from the Eurostars Programme to help advance tidal energy technology.
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