Tidal Energy Project
Transition Bro Gwaun (TBG) aims to realise the first community owned/led tidal flow project in Wales. The proposal would consist of a single device or a small array of tidal turbines deployed off the coastline of Fishguard and Goodwick. This supports TBG’s aims to mitigate the community’s impact on Climate Change providing sustainable and secure energy, whilst also bringing financial benefits for both local investors and community initiatives.
Development of a community tidal flow device will be an exemplar of best practice and provide a working demonstration of how tidal technology can deliver not only environmental benefit but wider community benefits too. It will provide a blueprint for other communities across our coastline to utilise marine energy as a resource for future resilience.
The timescale for the project depends on three key external factors:
- Identification of a suitable tidal device/s with market readiness;
- This impacts on the seabed leasing options, as three devices need to be selected at an early stage in order to proceed with the application.
- The environmental impact assessment linked to the marine licensing
This is a new and emerging market; historically the few devices that have been successfully deployed have been pilot projects with extensive timeframes. Based on a maturing market, the project is currently projected at approximately three to five years. Other factors such as the scale of the array and the required infrastructure i.e. grid connection / storage etc, may also impact on the timeframe.
Storage and Local Energy Systems
Opportunities will be sought to engage with others on local energy and storage networks. It is important to address the issue of grid network links or look to other options such as production of hydrogen for the Fishguard train (Arriva) or ferry. Initial contacts have taken place with Birmingham University who are specialists in this area, and also train franchisees who are looking to securing the train line services from Fishguard for the next 15 years.
A fact finding visit will be an opportunity to learn and develop this area of the project. A visit could take place to Copenhagen, where there is a developed network, or Levenmouth in Scotland, a community initiative which is leading the way in hydrogen storage systems.
TBG have secured funding from Pembrokeshire’s Sustainable Development Fund and the LEADER programme.
This funding supports a part time development officer, and administrator/support worker. This will enable the community to lead an identified wide partnership, and secure; funding for further technical and environmental studies; the seabed lease; marine licence; and latterly accumulate community capital in the project.
LEADER will also resource fact finding missions, developing wider partnerships and gaining knowledge by visiting sites which are further forward in this new market or have successfully installed devices.
The Welsh Government’s Local Energy programme, run by the Energy Saving Trust (EST), provides financial and technical support to help social enterprises and SMEs across Wales to develop their own renewable energy schemes.
Marine Energy Pembrokeshire is a partnership between technology developers, the supply chain, academia and the public sector working together to establish Pembrokeshire as a “centre of excellence” for sustainable marine energy generation.
Renew Wales supports community based action on climate change across Wales.
SEACAMS is a new development to integrate research and business opportunities in the marine sector in Wales. A partnership between Bangor, Swansea and Aberystwyth Universities, with a wide range of expertise covering all areas of marine science, ranging from marine biology to marine physics.
Fact Finding Trip September 2017
The TBG Tidal team will be visiting Scottish innovation energy projects with community leadership. The trip has been organised with members from our partners Cwm Arian, Ynni Llŷn and Enlli Tidal Flow, Cadwyn Clwyd and Eversholt Rail (UK). We are planning to visit the following sites; Levenmouth, Bright Green Hydrogen Ltd, this project is addressing some of Scotland’s most pressing energy issues such as provision of low carbon transport and energy storage; Orkney Surf ‘n’ Turf: renewable marine hydrogen, Community Energy Scotland; Eday Island – Community Wind Turbine/hydrogen in partnership with local council and ferries; Emec (European Marine Energy Centre) which will include a visit to wave testing site in Stromness; Meetings with various commercial device developers such as SME and Scot renewables.
Coastal Energy Event
On the 22nd March we hosted in partnership with Renew Wales a free Coastal Energy event at the Fishguard Bay Hotel. The aims of the event was to inform and engage communities and organisations on a range of issues covering: tidal flow projects and their environmental impact assessment (EIA) processes; alternative transport and storage/energy systems. The event attracted over 50 delegates, mostly from the community sector. Keynote speaker Jennifer Pride, Welsh Government’s Head of Renewable Energy, kicked off the morning session, followed by a case study via Skype from Scotland and a panel discussion. TBG presented information about their new community tidal energy project funded by Arwain Sir Benfro’s LEADER fund and the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority’s Sustainable Development Fund. The afternoon session consisted of a variety of energy-themed workshops from providers including, Cadwyn Clwyd, Cilgwyn Community, Sea Trust, Marine Space and Swansea Bay City Region representatives.
Partner Launch Meeting
The project concept has been developed over a number of years but is still in its early stages, however with funding secured a partnership launch took place on 24th November, 2016. This exciting venture is supported by a number of key partners including Local Energy, EST’s community renewable programme, Marine Energy Wales (also Marine Energy Pembrokeshire), Renew Wales and SEACAMS based at Bangor, Aberystwyth and Swansea Universities.