UK marine energy test centers join forces for Welsh newbie

The European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) and Wave Hub have signed an agreement with Marine Energy Wales to provide strategic advice for the development of marine energy test center in Pembrokeshire.

Illustration/Alstom tidal turbine (Photo: Alstom/EMEC)

Between them, the teams behind the test centers in Orkney and Cornwall respectively have over 20 years’ experience developing and managing the sites, as well as supporting facilities and developers around the world, according to the Welsh marine body – Marine Energy Wales.

The Marine Energy Test Area (META) project will see the creation of a series of pre-consented, non-grid connected sites suitable for a range of component, sub assembly and marine energy device tests in the Milford Haven Waterway.

Joseph Kidd, META Operations Manager, said: “This agreement demonstrates that the marine energy sector is a catalyst for positive cross-border collaboration across the UK. By working together and sharing knowledge we hope to create a project which will provide added value to the UK’s world leading established test center network. We are delighted to have EMEC and Wave Hub on board as strategic advisors.”

Oliver Wragg, EMEC’s Commercial Director added: “EMEC has more than a decade of experience in the design, build and operation of its marine energy test facilities. The important R&D activity which has taken place in Orkney over the years has created a UK-wide boost to innovation in the marine energy sector. We are delighted to collaborate with Marine Energy Wales and Wave Hub in the META project, sharing our unique wealth of knowledge and helping to drive the industry forward, supporting further development of renewable energy.”

Claire Gibson, Wave Hub’s Managing Director, noted: “As the seabed leaseholder for the Pembrokeshire Demonstration Zone, Wave Hub has a real interest in ensuring META is a success as it offers technology developers a flexible space to undertake their initial testing before deploying at scale in the demo zone.”

The £1.9 million project, supported by EU and Welsh government funds, along with the Coastal Communities Fund and the Swansea Bay City Deal, aims to provide early stage device developers with an easy access testing facility to de-risk future deployments and drive down the cost of energy.