Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Wales waves hello to sea power

The UK’s first commercial-scale wave power station is to be installed off the Welsh coast.

The first stage of the development (cost: £12 million and part funded by the Welsh European Funding Office) will see the deployment of a 7MW ‘Wave Dragon’ off the coast of West Wales, near Milford Haven by Spring 2007.

Eventually (subject to regulatory consents) the project will have a total capacity of 77MW.

The first stage is a 7MW Wave Dragon unit off the coast of West Wales, near Milford Haven, by spring 2006.

A Wave Dragon unit is an offshore floating device that works by channeling waves into a reservoir which is above sea level. The water is then released through a number of turbines and generates electricity in the same way as hydro power plants.

The technology has been developed and tested over the past eight years in tanks in Denmark and Ireland. The Danish prototype is believed to be the first offshore device in the world to deliver power to a national electricity grid.

The London-based developers are KP Renewables plc, an AIM-quoted, renewable energy project developer, and Danish Wave Dragon Ltd.

The directors of KPR believe that development of the Wave Dragon wave energy project has the potential to generate new jobs in a wide range of industries across Wales and beyond, including maritime services, engineering, construction, and via extensive collaboration with Welsh universities.

In 2003 the total electricity consumption for Wales was 15,158Gwh. So we would need about 15 plants like this to supply all of Wales.

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