Ramsey Sound tidal project idle for months

Tidal Energy Ltd’s DeltaStream device stopped producing electricity due to faulty equipment three months after its installation in the Ramsey Sound, off Wales, UK media report.

Cardiff-based tidal energy developer Tidal Energy Ltd installed the 400 kW DeltaStream tidal device late in 2015, and according to BBC, the device stopped producing power three months later due to faulty equipment.

Namely, in March 2016, a break with an active sonar whose role was to monitor for possible collisions between sea mammals and the turbine was identified, BBC reports, which meant the project could no longer operate within its license due to the inability to monitor for potential collisions.

BBC further reports that another mechanical defect, which would have stopped the turbine from producing electricity, was later identified.

Several months later, Tidal Energy Ltd went into administration due to ‘financial struggles’ according to its Director, Chris Williams, who said for BBC that the Ramsey Sound was a research project that achieved what it was set to do.

“The project was a research and development project. It was never put in the water to generate massive amounts of electricity. The purpose of the project was to provide the essential learning, new knowledge, knowhow and experience to progress the industry in Wales. What we set out to do we did, 100%,” Williams told BBC.

Around £15 million has been invested in the project, through Tidal Energy Ltd’s majority shareholder, Welsh renewable energy company Eco2 Ltd, along with EU funds worth £8 million delivered through the Welsh government.

The administrators in charge of Tidal Energy Ltd are currently seeking the buyer for the company, which operates out of offices in Cardiff and Pembroke Dock.

A DeltaStream unit is comprised of a steel main base that can carry up to three turbines. An independent horizontal tidal turbine can be mounted on to each nacelle, amounting to the total capacity of 1.2MW a unit.