On 8th September 2023, the UK Government announced that HydroWing has been awarded a contract for a 10MW tidal stream energy project to be based in Wales. This was the largest tidal stream project in Wales to be successful in the latest Contracts for Difference round.
Allocation Round 5 (AR5) support could see an additional 53MW, at £198/MWh, of tidal stream capacity deployed in British waters by 2028 across seven projects in Scotland and Wales.
The project will be located at the Morlais tidal energy site at Holy Isle, Anglesey, which is managed by the social enterprise Menter Môn. The Morlais site is the largest consented tidal energy scheme in the UK, and has been the focus of dedicated efforts for over a decade. The project will be deployed in 2027.
Richard Parkinson, of Inyanga Marine Energy Group, the parent company of HydroWing, said:
“Our successful AR5 application is fantastic news. It is the culmination of a huge effort from our team to develop a more efficient and cost effective tidal energy solution for Morlais. We look forward to working closely with Menter Môn and with our supply chain partners in Anglesey to deliver our first 10MW of clean and predictable power to the Anglesey Grid.”
Tidal stream energy is distinct from both tidal lagoons and barrages, which require the construction of complex infrastructure. HydroWing innovative technology uses seabed-mounted turbines to generate electricity from tidal currents.
The Government estimates that the UK has access to around 50% of Europe’s total tidal energy resource. One of the great benefits of tidal energy is that it is consistent, predictable and reliable. It could therefore provide a very valuable component of the ‘base load’ for the grid. However, deployment in aggressive tidal streams can be challenging and commercialisation of the sector has until now been held back by high operations and maintenance costs.
Richard Parkinson said:
“The HydroWing technology meets this challenge head on. We have scrutinised every aspect of our technology so as to be able to deliver a truly commercially viable project at Morlais. We believe that HydroWing represents a real step-change which will help drive down the Levelised Cost Of Energy for tidal stream.
The HydroWing is a multi-rotor subsea device with the turbines mounted in a wing-like structure which is stabbed onto a framework, a modular sub-structure mounted on the seabed.
The latest configuration consists of two Tocardo T3 turbines producing up to 880kw with a 14m Passive Pitch Bi-directional blade. The power is converted to grid compliance through a Turbine Control Hub and connected via a wet-mate connector.
Richard Parkinson added:
“Our goal is to become the world’s largest provider of tidal energy arrays. We are focused on deploying full-system tidal arrays and a cost-reduction strategy to eliminate dependency on feed-in tariffs. The Morlais project is a major milestone on that journey.”