Marine energy developer Minesto has announced plans to expand the commercial roll-out of its Deep Green technology in Holyhead Deep, North Wales by taking steps to increase the planned installed capacity of its tidal energy array to 80MW.

Last week the company submitted a scoping report to UK consenting authorities Marine Management Organisation (MMO) and Natural Resources Wales (NRW), asking for their scoping opinion for development of an 80MW site in Holyhead Deep. After extensive preparatory work, Minesto has concluded that such a scale for its first commercial project is appropriate from both a business and a technology development perspective.

This is underpinned by an in-depth study analysing the site’s capacity by Xodus Group. The study concludes that the 9km2 area in Holyhead Deep, for which Minesto currently holds an Agreement for Lease for 10MW from the Crown Estate, is suitable for future deployment of up to 80MW installed capacity of Deep Green power plants.

By scaling up the Holyhead Deep project to 80MW, Minesto will fully exploit its commercialisation of Deep Green in UK tidal streams, said Dr Martin Edlund, CEO of Minesto: “This expansion enables economies of scale without us having to conduct parallel and costly site development. We will be able to take greater advantage of the asset base of our operational organisation, partner collaborations and the supply chain in Wales and the UK”.

This news comes just weeks after the Hendry Review into tidal lagoons was released providing strong support in backing not only Tidal Lagoon Power’s £1.3 billion project in Swansea Bay but also the wider wave and tidal stream sector. The review stated that, “Marine energy technologies offer an energy opportunity where the UK can reasonably aspire to be the global leader, with some substantial supply chain opportunities to match it.”

Both of these innovative projects will bring with them new low carbon jobs whilst also playing a key role in supporting peripheral economies, as well as supply chain diversity, resilience and clustering.

David Jones, Project Director of Marine Energy Wales commented: “It is really exciting that there is now an active industry in Wales looking at tidal range, stream, wave and floating offshore wind. There are opportunities across the country and we have the chance to export Welsh skills and knowledge to what is quickly becoming a global market. The expansion of Minesto’s project is a positive step forward for the company but also for the whole of the sector in Wales.”