Welsh Government has announced a further £1.2 million in funding to accelerate marine energy development in Wales. The investment is to develop a Marine Energy Test Area (META) project in the Milford Haven Waterway.
The funding will support the work of Marine Energy Wales in developing a network of pre-consented areas of seabed that will support research, component testing, innovation, deployment techniques and scaled device deployment.
The £1.9 million META project is set to contribute towards Wales’ plans to play a key role in a growing global market and will add to the UK’s current world leading network of test sites.
Marine Energy Wales is an initiative developed and managed by Pembrokeshire Coastal Forum, a Community Interest Company that works to protect and enhance the coastal and marine environment for current and future generations. The company is delighted to receive this funding as it marks yet another important step forward for the industry.
David Jones, Project Director of Marine Energy Wales said, “After discussing the META concept with industry over the last three years we are pleased to secure the finances and support to now move towards delivery. Marine energy has already had a positive impact upon our peripheral economies in Wales, supported local supply chain clustering and diversification, and we see META contributing to the continued cost reduction being delivered by the sector at the moment.”
Finance Secretary Mark Drakeford, said: “We want Wales to be at the forefront of research and innovation in the marine energy field so I’m delighted to announce more than £1m of EU funds to help create this test area.”
“It’s a very exciting time for marine energy in Wales and this initiative is another major step in building a thriving industry in Pembrokeshire and in Wales. We are committed to attracting developers from around the world to Welsh waters.”
Dr Stephen Wyatt, ORE Catapult’s Director of Research & Disruptive Innovation said “as the UK’s flagship technology, innovation & research centre for advancing wind, wave and tidal energy, ORE Catapult welcomes META. Its pre-consented areas of waterway, will provide for quick and efficient testing of components, sub-assemblies and complete devices, and allow developers to practice installation and O&M methodologies, within easy reach of an extensive, and supportive, engineering supply chain. META fits well with ORE Catapult’s emerging plans for engagement with the region, and we look forward to working closely with the team.”
META forms part of Pembroke Dock Marine, a £76 million project to develop a world class centre for marine energy development, fabrication, testing and deployment in Pembrokeshire. This is one of 11 projects included in the Swansea Bay City Deal that was signed by the Prime Minister and Welsh First Minister on the 20th March this year.
META has also received funding through the Coastal Communities Fund. The next steps of the project will build on previous work to select the most appropriate sites within the Waterway, continue to engage with stakeholders and formally begin the leasing and licensing process.