HydroWing secures spot to showcase next-generation Tocardo tidal turbines

UK’s HydroWing has secured a berth with 30 MW potential at a Morlais tidal site in Angelsey, Wales, to demonstrate next-generation Tocardo T-2si turbines configured into the HydroWing structure.

HydroWing plans a phased approach starting with a commercial demonstrator project in 2023 which will be operated by its newly established Welsh entity HydroWing Tidal Projects Ltd.  

According to the company, the new turbines will feature enhanced blade performance and control innovation to provide low-cost, clean, predictable and reliable electricity to the local grid.

The initial project looks to cement the technology at the site, grow the Welsh team and develop the essential strong local supply chains and stakeholder relations to subsequently enable the roll out toward the full 30 MW.

The front-end engineering design is currently being undertaken and over the next months, HydroWing will undertake detailed analysis and design to ensure optimised configuration of the turbines.

The device will be installed using the Inyanga Entsha DP2 multi-purpose vessel. The vessel is currently in Appledore, Devon, where it is being upgraded with intelligent launch and recovery systems.

HydroWing is set to collaborate with the local supply chain in North Wales to deliver this demonstration phase. The Marine Energy Wales cluster is expected to join the commitment this year.

“We are very excited to demonstrate our HydroWing with the next generation turbines at Morlais. Our key objective is to demonstrate that tidal energy can be cost-competitive versus other renewable energy sources,” Richard Parkinson, managing director of HydroWing.

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The HydroWing is a multi-rotor subsea device with three turbines mounted on a wing-like structure which is stabbed onto a sub-structure, a modular gravity-based frame mounted on the seabed. The device can be a single or double wing, depending on the depth of water at the site.

The device has been inspired by Tocardo’s OTP Project. The five-turbine 1.25 MW project has been operating on the Eastern Scheldt barrier since 2015 with turbines arranged on a wing in a similar configuration to the HydroWing.

To remind, Tocardo is fully owned by HydroWing and QED Naval since 2020.

“For Tocardo, the development of the T-2si turbine marks an important milestone on the technology roadmap and will open the door to the offshore tidal market,” Andries van Unen, CEO of Tocardo, stated.

“With the HydroWing, our expertise, business partners and existing technology base, the Morlais project is the perfect stepping stone for Tocardo to determine our course and to claim our position in the market.”