World’s First Low-Velocity Tidal Energy Project Takes a Step Closer
Xodus Group has delivered the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and licence application for Minesto’s Holyhead Deep project west of Anglesey for which consent has been confirmed by Natural Resources Wales.
The consent is for a 0.5MW Deep Green device which will demonstrate and prove the technology ahead of plans for installing a 10MW array at the site. The installation site is located in the southern corner of Holyhead Deep, 6.5km off the coast of Anglesey and has been carefully selected to maintain separation from shipping lanes and to minimise the impact on other sea users.
The first phase of the project will include a single Deep Green device unit, seabed foundation and a surfaced moored buoy, with installation planned this year. The in-depth EIA carried out by Xodus considered the potential impacts acts on fisheries, marine mammals, sea birds, marine archaeology and cultural heritage as well as shipping and navigation, which were concluded to be ‘not significant’.
James Monnington, Lead Environmental Consultant at Xodus Group says, “Xodus has developed specialist expertise in environmental impact assessments for renewable energy and tidal projects, so greatly welcomes the Holyhead Deep consent which will allow Minesto to deploy and assess its innovative Deep Green technology. We look forward to working with the developer further as it seeks to roll out an array to provide a robust alternative energy source for the UK.”
Holyhead Deep marks the starting point of the industrialisation of the Deep Green technology. It is the first low-velocity tidal energy project in the world. Holyhead Deep matches all the site requirements by providing low-flow tidal velocities (1.5–2m/s mean peak flow) at a depth of 80m–100m. Following successful deployment and testing of the first installed power plant, more Deep Green devices will be installed to form a tidal energy array.
Minesto holds an Agreement for Lease from the Crown Estate for a 10MW installation (twenty power plants). In February, Minesto announced its intentions of scaling up the commercial roll-out of its Deep Green technology in Wales. Xodus is supporting Minesto on a scoping report for the potential development of an 80MW site which would include up to 160 devices installed in phases in Holyhead Deep.
Ylva Sörqvist Hultgren, Site Development Manager at Minesto says, “We are very pleased to have been awarded consent for our first installation of the Deep Green technology in Holyhead Deep. This first step of implementing our unique technology in commercial scale is obviously an important one, and it is therefore satisfying to have reached this milestone.”