The Welsh Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure, Ken Skates, announced the funding from European Regional Development Fund and the Welsh Government, at the inaugural Marine Energy Wales conference in Swansea.
Wave Hub Ltd is the operating company for Wave Hub, the existing wave energy test site off the north Cornwall coast, and the leaseholder for the Pembrokeshire demonstration zone, the largest wave energy seabed lease in the world. The zone is located between 13-21kms off the South Pembrokeshire coast near the Milford Haven Waterway and has the potential to support the demonstration of multiple wave energy arrays with a generating capacity of up to 30MW each.
Without the Welsh Government’s commitment to marine energy, our plans to develop this site would have stalled so we are extremely grateful for their support. This funding will now enable us to develop an outline design for the Pembrokeshire Demonstration Zone, begin the environmental assessment process, and engage with industry and local stakeholders to ensure our plans for the site are fit for purpose and take into account any local concerns.
The marine sector presents a very real and exciting opportunity for the Welsh economy and developers from around the world are showing an active interest in developing projects in Welsh waters. They recognise that Wales has one of the best marine energy resources and support structures to be found anywhere and the demonstrator zones will play a key role in attracting development and investment. The funding boost announced today also coincides with the latest report on the sector in Wales that has seen direct investment in marine energy in Wales increase from £45.5m in 2015 to £68.3m in 2017. To date €100m of EU funding has been secured to develop marine energy in Wales and increase the number of wave and tidal energy devices being tested in Welsh waters. This growing sector is already supporting supply chain diversity, creating low carbon jobs closer to home and playing a key role in creating sustainable regional economies in Pembrokeshire and Anglesey that are based on developing their own prioritised and specialised sectors.
Marine Power Systems is delighted that the Welsh Government is investing in the new Pembrokeshire Demonstration Zone. The dedicated wave energy area, to be positioned on the doorstep of MPS headquarters, is an ideal location for deployment of future commercial WaveSub arrays. The demonstration zone will undoubtedly attract interest and investment in the region, firmly putting Wales on the map as a global leader in wave energy.
Wave Hub’s extensive experience in developing and operating test sites will be of huge benefit in progressing the Pembrokeshire Demonstration Zone and is another step forward for the sector in Wales. We are looking forward to continuing our collaborative approach with them to develop marine energy in Wales.
The feasibility study is due to start at the end of April and the findings will be known early in 2018.
Notes to Editors
About the Pembrokeshire Demonstration Zone
The Pembrokeshire Demonstration Zone is a new wave energy site located off the South Pembrokeshire coastline. Wave Hub Ltd is the seabed leaseholder.
The zone comprises a 90 sq km area of seabed with water depths of approximately 50 metres and a wave resource of 19 kW/m. It is located between 13-21kms offshore and has the potential to support the demonstration of wave arrays with a generating capacity of up to 30MW for each project.
Wave Hub ltd has secured support from the Welsh Government, including the European Regional Development Fund to undertake a feasibility study during 2017:
The Pembrokeshire Demonstration Zone could be built by 2020, with the first devices installed in 2021.
About Wave Hub Ltd
Wave Hub Ltd is a research organisation and offshore renewable energy site operator based at the Marine Renewables Business Park in Hayle, Cornwall. It manages the day-to-day operation of the purpose built Wave Hub test facility located off the North Cornwall coast.
Wave Hub provides shared offshore infrastructure for the demonstration and proving of large scale offshore renewable energy technologies. It consists of an electrical hub on the seabed connected to the local onshore grid network by a 25km subsea cable. The site is 8 sq km with four cable connection points that have an export capacity of 48MW.
The construction of Wave Hub cost £30 million, funded by £16.5 million from the European Regional Development Fund Convergence Programme and £13.5 million from the UK Government.
The Wave Hub infrastructure was enhanced in the summer of 2016 with the installation of additional subsea cables. This project received £2.15 million of funding from the England European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Department for Communities and Local Government and the Department for Work and Pensions (and in London the intermediate body Greater London Authority) are the Managing Authorities for European Regional Development Fund and European Social Fund funding through the Growth Programme, funds established by the European Union to help local areas stimulate their economic development. By investing in projects the funds will help support innovation, businesses, skills and employment to improve local growth and create jobs. For more information visit https://www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding
Follow Wave Hub on Twitter @wavehub, or visit www.wavehub.co.uk