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10 Aug 2011 10:08:40

Tidal Energy Ltd awarded Carbon Trust grant for environmental monitoring

Company pledges to make environmental data available to the wider marine energy industry

Cardiff, 10 August 2011: Tidal Energy Ltd (TEL), the company working towards deploying Wales' first full scale tidal stream energy generator in 2012, has been awarded £390,000 by the Carbon Trust to help fund environmental monitoring work at its consented Ramsey Sound demonstration site off the Pembrokeshire coast. TEL will make environmental assessment data available to the wider marine energy industry.

The grant, issued under the Carbon Trust's Entrepreneurs Fast Track Programme, comes weeks after TEL announced an £11m funding package for the manufacture and deployment of its 1.2 MW DeltaStream device. Under the package, funds from the European Regional Development Fund, secured through the Welsh Government, were matched by majority shareholder Eco2.

DeltaStream sits on the sea bed without the need for a positive anchoring system. It generates electricity from three separate horizontal axis turbines mounted on a common frame. The device – which will provide a sustainable source of electricity to homes in the city of St Davids during its 12 month demonstration period, commencing next year – has been designed to be easily installed and maintained, with minimal impact on the environment.

TEL hopes that the Carbon Trust-funded environmental assessment work will help the wider Welsh marine energy industry to grow. Chris Williams, development director at Tidal Energy Ltd, explains, "The Welsh Government believes that the deployment of tidal and wave devices off the nation's 1200km coastline could provide as much as 4GW of clean, predictable electricity by as early as 2025. This represents a huge opportunity but In order to achieve this goal, we must understand more about how devices interact with the marine environment.

"We believe our device can combine high efficiency and portability with the crucial advantage of being environmentally benign. We are grateful to the Carbon Trust for helping fund assessments that we hope will verify this. By making data available to the market, we hope others can benefit from our research."

TEL has been backed by renewable energy company Eco2 Ltd since 2008. Both businesses are chaired by serial entrepreneur, Peter Darwell.

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