The Welsh Government has given its approval to the development of the Skerries Tidal Stream Array, which will be Wales' first commercial tidal energy farm.


The Welsh Government has given its approval to the development of the Skerries Tidal Stream Array, which will be Wales’ first commercial tidal energy farm. The Skerries tidal array, one of the largest of its kind to be consented in the UK, will be developed by Marine Current Turbines, a company now owned by Siemens.
Following commissioning, the array, located off the north-west coast of Anglesey in North Wales, will consist of five SeaGen 2MW tidal stream turbines in an area between the Skerries group of rocks and islands and Carmel Head about 1km off the Anglesey coast close to the port of Holyhead, in approximately 20 to 40m water depth. 
SeaGen is the first proven full-scale commercial tidal turbine developed by MCT, which has operated successfully in Strangford Lough in Northern Ireland since 2008 The project will make use of the local port facilities at Holyhead for the installation and operations and maintenance. 
The first minister of Wales Carwyn Jones said:
"I am delighted to announce that the Welsh Government has granted a Marine Licence for the Skerries Tidal Stream Array project, which moves Wales a step closer to hosting the first scheme of this kind in the UK. This demonstrates the significant benefits of choosing Wales for marine energy investment, with our unique tidal resources, good port facilities and proximity to the grid." 
"We have supported and worked closely with the company from the minute they showed their initial interest in the development of the site, including financial support towards early feasibility studies. The next step is to develop the industry so that tidal power can contribute towards our future energy mix."

Greg Barker, minister of state, Department of Energy and Climate Change commenting on the MEAD Fund said: 
"This £20 million will give MeyGen and SeaGeneration Wales the boost they need to leap to the next level and test their innovative turbines in formations out at sea. These projects will provide valuable insight into how best to harness the power of the sea and take us one vital step closer to realising the full potential of marine in our future energy mix. The UK, with its amazing natural resource and outstanding technical know-how is already leading the way on marine power for the rest of the world to follow, and I want to ensure we stay top of this table. I am delighted that MeyGen and SeaGeneration Wales are rising to the challenge and wish them every success."