The £150m Welsh test bed facility for turbine designers and manufacturers could get the go ahead

Consultant Capita Symonds’ proposal for a pilot tidal energy scheme at Llanddulas in North Wales has gained support in principle from Conwy County Borough Council. The £150m Tidal Energy Storage And Release scheme would provide a test bed facility for turbine designers and manufacturers developing a new generation of ‘low head’ turbines while also assessing their impact on the environment. The project will encourage innovation, inform debate, and enable key decisions to be made about the role of tidal power in providing a low carbon, renewable, secure and predictable source of electricity.

The project, which would take six years to design and build, would be able to harness the power of the tide to generate some 600 megawatts of renewable low carbon electricity per annum. Built using locally sourced materials, it would also act as a catalyst for local sustainable regeneration with initial plans including a 500 berth marina and a new harbour.

Paul Terry, consultant at Capita, said: “Tidal power will play a key role in providing a sustainable energy source for future generations. The North Wales coast is an ideal place for such a scheme as it’s blessed with a good tidal range and suitable bathymetry (ocean depth). The project could also play a vital role in protecting vulnerable communities from rising sea levels, storm surges and coastal erosion as a result of climate change.”

Capita will now source funding for feasibility studies and investigations to develop a business case for the scheme.