Lunar Energy and E.ON are to develop a major underwater tidal stream power project off the Pembrokeshire coast.
This pioneering project will use the power contained within fast moving deep sea tidal streams, created by rising and falling tides, to turn a field of 60 foot turbines situated on the sea floor. If given the go ahead, the multi-million pound scheme would be capable of generating enough electricity to power up to 5,000 homes.
The two companies, which in March announced their intention to build a commercial-scale tidal energy stream plant, have submitted a scooping report to the Department of Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (DBERR) and other key stakeholders. This is the first step towards gaining consent to take the project forward. William Law, Executive Chairman of Lunar Energy, said: „I am delighted that in partnership with E.ON we can now look at taking the future of tidal stream energy onto the next stage; the first commercial scale development of it’s kind.
For some time now, it has been apparent to all of us - government, industry and the public - that we have to come to grips with the world’s reliance on fossil fuels. Our commercial partnership with E.ON lets us look forward with increasing anticipation towards erecting this new industrial platform, and in so doing, make growing supplies of renewable energy available to the whole of the United Kingdom.” He added: „This new industry will allow Lunar and E.ON to not only satisfy the public demand for renewable energy, but also offer healthy returns to far-sighted investors.
I anticipate further commercial developments, particularly in Scotland and worldwide and I firmly believe that Lunar Energy with the patented Rotech Tidal Turbine (RTT) is an attractive investment proposition that will offer high growth within the security of an established core industry. The technology of the RTT derives from deep experience in offshore oil and gas and is intended to be simple and robust but with low O & M costs. With a predictable and self renewing energy source, a power generation unit that is environmentally friendly and invisible and a technology that is commercially economic I believe that Lunar Energy and E.ON are ideally placed to commercially exploit this new market arena.”
Amaan Lafayette, Marine Development Manager at E.ON UK, said: „If we are to succeed in the battle to combat global warming, we must look at a wide range of technologies to reduce our carbon emissions”. „The waters off the coast of Wales have the some of the greatest potential for marine-generated energy in Europe and this project will help us to harness the power of the tides and turn that potential into clean, renewable energy. This is vital if we are to fight the effects of climate change.”
„If it gets the go ahead, this scheme will be one of the largest tidal stream projects of its kind in the world, and represents a fantastic opportunity for establishing Wales as a global leader in marine energy development.” Early feasibility studies have been completed and a full environmental impact assessment will now be carried out. If approved, it is anticipated that the plant would be operational by 2010/11. (carbonfree)