A £25m tidal energy project in Anglesey has this week been given the go-ahead, using underwater kites to harness power. Said to be the first of its kind, the project has been awarded a marine licence to prove the worth of the proposed technology. If successful, the device will single-handedly power around 8,000 households in Wales.
Behind the project is Swedish-based, Minesto; thrilled to have been granted permission by Natural Resources Wales to anchor its device in the sea near Holyhead.
According to developers, the project is a world-first, using tidal currents to force water through a turbine. During the process, the Deep Green devices fly through the sea, creating power in the process.
The site is situated four miles off Anglesey, thought to be the perfect spot as it does not interfere with shipping lanes or impact other sea users. Following a thorough environmental impact assessment, it was revealed that the site boasted no threat to fisheries, marine mammals, sea birds, marine archaeology or cultural heritage.
Ylva Sörqvist Hultgren, site development manager at Minesto, said:
“This first step of implementing our unique technology in commercial scale is obviously an important one, and it is therefore satisfying to have reached this milestone.”
Eleanor Smart, senior permitting team leader for Natural Resources Wales, confirmed a marine licence had been granted for one underwater kite.
“We scrutinise applications such as this to make sure the licences we issue protect the environment and other activities in the marine environment,” she said.
“The information we have shows that this proposal does not pose an unacceptable threat to the environment.
“If the developer wants to place more of these devices on the sea bed in this area, they will need further permits from us before they can go ahead.”