A consortium led by Tidal Hydraulic Generators and including consultants Babtie Group and Cardiff university has been granted £1.6m by the UK government to develop what is being called the world’s first protoype tidal stream generator. Such a generator uses the underwater tidal stream to drive turbines linked to a hydraulic system filled with oil. The stored pressure drives a generator.

The prototype is to be sited off the Pembroke coast in SW Wales and will take advantage of the ten mile wide, 60 m deep 3-4 knot tidal river that is created when the Irish sea flows into the Bristol channel. Tidal Hydraulic will be supplying its own innovation, a hydraulic accumulator that requires only a 2 knot flow to produce electricity 20 hours a day. The Pembroke unit should generate over 10 GWh /year. A pre-prototype model is to be tested in the Milford Haven waterway.