Marine energy company Minesto is moving forward with commissioning of the first commercial Deep Green power plant in Wales, thanks to a EUR 13 million investment from the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government .

The funding will also help establish Minesto’s UK Headquarters in North Wales, and is expected to support an expansion of marine energy in Wales and UK.

Minesto will install the first commercial scale 0.5MW power plant in Holyhead Deep and continue with additional deployments in what will eventually be an array with a total capacity of 10MW, expected to be operational in 2019. The 10MW array will supply electricity to the equivalent of 8,000 households and create significant employment opportunities in both the construction and operational phases.

"Establishing Minesto UK Headquarters in North Wales is a strategic decision that will help make Wales a global leader in the marine energy sector. In the short term, around 30 direct jobs will be created, followed by hundreds more in the long term in areas like manufacturing, offshore operations and new project development," said Anders Jansson, CEO of Minesto. "Today’s announcement represents an important step into the full commercialisation of marine energy in Wales."

The Welsh Government has been working with Minesto over a number of years on feasibility studies to help bring this investment to North Wales

"I am delighted that this EU funds investment has helped pave the way for Minesto to set up its UK headquarters in North Wales which will create high quality jobs in what is a rapidly expanding and important sector for Wales," commented First Minister, Carwyn Jones. "We have extensive raw wave and tidal energy resources along our shorelines, and this is an excellent example of commercial solutions being developed in Wales to help drive our potential to be a world-leader in the marine energy market. This investment will not only help create greener and more efficient sources of energy, but will also create jobs and vital opportunities for growth in North Wales."

According to a report commissioned by the Welsh Government marine energy could boost the Welsh economy by up to 840 million pounds annually after 1GW has been deployed. Wales has 1200km of coastline with low velocity tidal currents, with the potential to supply more than five per cent of the UK’s total electricity demand. Wales also has strategically located deep-sea ports and access to the UK national grid.