UK-based KP Renewables has entered into a joint development agreement with Wave Dragon Ltd which provides a framework for the two stage development, financing, construction and operation of up to 77MW of wave energy projects in the country.

The first stage of the project involves the deployment of the 7MW Wave Dragon unit off the coast of West Wales, near Milford Haven. The unit is expected to provide enough power for 6000 homes. An application for a £5M (US$8.86M) ‘Objective 1′ grant for the first stage of the project has been made to the Welsh European Funding Office.

If the first unit proves successful, the second stage would feature up to 11 Wave Dragon units at a deeper water, more energetic site, with a total capacity of 77MW, subject to regulatory consents. The units are expected to be deployed during 2008 and 2009 and are projected to provide sufficient electricity for up to 60,000 homes.

‘Wales has a significant marine energy resource and the Wave Dragon project has the potential to harness that power to provide clean, renewable energy,’ said Andrew Davies, Minister for Economic Development and Transport. ‘Our vision is to make Wales a showcase for clean energy production and energy efficiency and our marine assets offer new opportunities for the production of renewable energy and help us meet our targets by 2020.’

It is expected that the energy generated from the project will be sold by KPR under its Power Purchase Agreements, as outline in its AIM admission document dated 26 July 2005.

The total cost of the first stage of the development is projected to be £12M (US$21.3M). The agreement signed by the parties, while non-binding, provides a specific framework for the projects to be developed. The outline terms of two further agreements, detailing the individual development stages of each of the 7MW and 70MW stages, have been agreed although the final ownership percentage and investment by the parties will be finalised for each individual project as they are developed.

‘We believe that the UK’s wave energy potential is even greater than the potential for the UK’s wind energy industry,’ said Dr James Watkins, CEO of KPR. ‘Having already developed a promising pipeline of wind energy opportunities, we felt the need for a strong presence in wave power, which is a crucial component of the UK renewables mix.’

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