Illustration/Tidal turbine array with Tocardo technology (Courtesy of HydroWing)

HydroWing gears up for Welsh tidal energy project with streamlined Tocardo turbines

UK-based company HydroWing has unveiled plans for its 10MW tidal energy project in Wales, supported by the UK government’s renewables auction scheme, which will feature next-generation Tocardo tidal turbines with significant increases in yield.

Illustration/Tidal turbine array with Tocardo technology (Courtesy of HydroWing)

Following the recent announcement that HydroWing has been awarded a contract for a 10MW tidal stream energy project in Wales, as part of the latest UK CfD auction which supported record capacity of over 50MW, the company is gearing up to deliver the project in Welsh waters.

The project will be located at the Morlais tidal energy site in Anglesey – the UK’s largest consented tidal energy scheme – which is managed by the social enterprise Menter Môn.

HydroWing is now starting intensive work on delivering the project, including engaging with local stakeholders and supply chain companies while also establishing a presence in Anglesey.

A comprehensive research project has already been conducted in partnership with Bangor University to assess the velocity of local tide currents. The outputs from this have been very encouraging in informing expectations on the yield characteristics of the site.

Richard Parkinson, managing director of Inyanga Marine Energy Group, which is the parent company for HydroWing, said: “The Morlais project is a major milestone in our quest to become the largest provider of tidal energy arrays in the world.

“This ground-breaking project will launch our innovative tidal stream technology at utility scale. Commercialization of the tidal energy sector has so far been held back by high operations and maintenance costs. Our next generation technology meets that challenge head on.”

HydroWing solution with advanced Tocardo tidal turbines

Hydrowing's solution with Tocardo tidal turbines (Cortesy of Hydrowing)
Hydrowing’s solution with Tocardo tidal turbines (Cortesy of Hydrowing)

HydroWing is designed to be a cost-effective and scalable solution to tidal stream energy generation. A supporting structure sits on the seabed, under its own weight.

The ‘wings’ which hold the turbines are then lowered into position on this structure. This makes HydroWing very straightforward to deploy, according to the company.

The turbines are bi-directional, so they generate power as the tide comes in and as it goes out. These turbines are also cost-effective to produce at scale, HydroWing claims.

“The HydroWing technology to be used for the Morlais project will incorporate the next generation Tocardo T-3 turbines. We have been working on the development of a passive pitch mechanism which integrates with the Tocardo bi-blade system allowing the blade dimensions to be increased, while shedding pitch at higher loads.

“This is similar to an active pitching mechanism but without compromising the reliability for which the Tocardo Turbines are well known. This increases the yield by 50-60% and makes projects in lower flow locations more feasible and investible,” Parkinson explained.

HydroWing and QED Naval joined forces in 2020 to work together on Tocardo as the companies identified  the huge potential of this turbine technology.

The Tocardo T-3 turbine design builds on insights from the 1.25MW tidal energy demonstration array in Eastern Scheldt, which was concluded in October 2023, after eight years of operation.

“The HydroWing team have scrutinized every aspect of our technology to ensure we have optimized each area in terms of cost reduction and improving efficiency so as to be able to deliver a truly commercially viable project at Morlais, with deployment in 2027.

“Tidal energy is a crucial part of the mix to help achieve net zero targets. We believe that this tidal stream project will be a stepping stone towards lowering the costs for tidal energy and that our innovative HydroWing technology will help unlock the commercial viability of tidal energy around the world,” Parkinson concluded.

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