Andrew Tyler of Marine Current Turbines will meet Climate Change Minister, Greg Barker, ahead of the launch of the UK’s first marine energy park, in support of Government and industry initiatives that have facilitated the development of the sector. As a tangible sign of the Department’s policies in action, today MCT also launch their Project Information Prospectuses for their first two commercial scale projects, which represents another milestone for the industry on the path to commercialsiation.
The move by Marine Current Turbines (MCT) to secure the finance for these two projects, which could be the UK’s first tidal projects, is a direct result of the UK’s Government’s proposal to offer 5 ROCS for tidal energy schemes and Siemens Energy’s decision to increase its shareholding in MCT in November last year. MCT’s projects are the 8 megawatts (MW) Kyle Rhea project in Scotland and its 10 MW Anglesey Skerries project in Wales.
Speaking in Bristol today, Climate Change Minister Greg Barker said: "We want the marine energy sector to succeed, so I'm delighted to see that MCT is progressing its SeaGen technology. We intend that the Renewables Obligation should support early commercial wave and tidal energy projects such as Kyle Rhea and the Skerries, this is why we are proposing to more than double the support to marine energy projects up to 30MW. This should help companies secure the financing for projects and accelerate the growth of the sector. Marine power has huge potential in the UK not just in contributing to a greener electricity supply and cutting emissions, but in supporting thousands of jobs in a sector worth a possible £15bn to the economy to 2050. The UK is already a world leader in wave and tidal power, so we should capitalise on this leadership to make marine power a real contender in the future energy market. I wish MCT every success"
MCT’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr Andrew Tyler, who is a member of the MEPB, said: “We share DECC’s determination in wishing to build a strong and vibrant tidal and wave energy industry in this country but we can only do this if commercial schemes such as Kyle Rhea and the Skerries attract the necessary investment. We have proved the performance and reliability of our SeaGen technology and we continue to invest time and money to improve SeaGen’s operation. Coupled with the backing of Siemens Energy, we are confident that there will be strong investment interest in our two projects. DECC’s proposed policy to offer 5 ROCS to investors is hugely important and we are sure will give the necessary spur to the investment community.”
For further information:
Marine Current Turbines (www.marineturbines.com)
Dr Andrew Tyler CBE/David Ainsworth
Tel: 0117 979 1888
Bethan Halls/Paul Taylor (Taylor Keogh Communications)
Tel: 020 3170 8465 / Bethan@taylorkeogh.com
Notes to Editors:
About the projects:
1. MCT’s proposed tidal energy scheme off Anglesey (north Wales) consists of up to 9 turbines in an area between the Skerries group of rocks and islands and Carmel Head about 1Km off the Anglesey coast. The 10MW scheme, which has benefited from funding from the Welsh European Funding Office and has been taken forward by MCT in partnership with RWE npower renewables, will be capable of generating enough power to supply electricity to up to 10,000 homes – approximately 20% of Anglesey’s electricity demand. The estimated project cost is £70million, and the target date for deployment and operation is 2015/16.
2. The 8MW Kyle Rhea project off the Isle of Skye on Scotland’s west coast comprises up to 4 turbines will have the capacity to generate electricity for up to 8,000 homes in the Highlands & Islands. MCT is aiming to deploy the tidal farm, costing in the region of £40million, by 2014/15.
3. Detailed technical and environmental studies have been undertaken on both projects and local interests have been consulted, and decisions on planning consents for both are expected during the course of this year and next.
1) Marine Current Turbines (www.marineturbines.com) is based in Bristol, England. Founded in 2000, MCT has evolved from a pioneer to a technology leader in horizontal axis marine current turbines and now has 25 employees. Its renowned 1.2MW tidal turbine, SeaGen, was developed building upon Peter Fraenkel’s pioneering innovation.
2) The company has now completed the development stage of SeaGen and is moving towards commercialisation. It has two projects planned for UK waters; an 8MW project for Kyle Rhea in Scotland and 10MW off the coast of Anglesey in Wales. Both of these projects have already received approval from The Crown Estate for lease applications and are supported by the 5 Renewable Obligation Certificates that the Government recently awarded to tidal projects.
3) The company’s main shareholder is Siemens Energy and its other principal corporate shareholders include BankInvest, EDF Energy, ESB International and Guernsey Electricity.
4) Overseas, MCT is working with Minas Basin Pulp & Power to deploy a single SeaGen U tidal system in Canada’s Bay of Fundy, Nova Scotia.
5) In addition, MCT has an approval for a lease from The Crown Estate to deploy a 100MW tidal farm off Borough Ness, on the southern-most tip of the Orkney Islands.
6) MCT’s 1.2MW SeaGen tidal system was deployed in Northern Ireland’s Strangford Lough in 2008; it has the capacity to generate power for the equivalent of about 1500 homes and so far has generated over 2,500 MW/h onto the grid. SeaGen works in principle much like an “underwater windmill” with the rotors driven by the power of the tidal currents rather than the wind.
7) MCT has a won a number of awards for its work. In 2009 it was ranked the world’s top tidal energy company in The Guardian/Clean Tech Global 100 Survey and won Renewable Energy Developer of the Year in the UK Renewable Energy Association Annual Awards. In 2010, MCT was awarded the prize for “Tidal Energy Competitiveness 2010” at the 1st International Tidal Energy Summit and the company also won a Sustainable Ireland Award for the success of SeaGen.
Image Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/foreignoffice/4793575452/ (under Creative Commons License)