Tidal energy technology firm HydroWing has recently secured a contract for a 10MW tidal stream energy initiative in Wales, the largest successful tidal stream project in the country in the UK government's latest Contracts for Difference round.
The chosen site for this project is the Morlais tidal energy site in Anglesey, overseen by the social enterprise Menter Môn and standing as the UK's largest consented tidal energy scheme. Richard Parkinson, Managing Director of Inyanga Marine Energy Group, HydroWing's parent company, expressed the project's importance, stating: "The Morlais project is a major milestone in our quest to become the largest provider of tidal energy arrays in the world."
HydroWing is now gearing up for an intensive project delivery phase, involving collaboration with local stakeholders and supply chain companies. The company is also establishing a local presence in Anglesey. An extensive research project, conducted in partnership with Bangor University, has already assessed the local tide currents' velocity, providing encouraging insights into the site's yield characteristics.
Richard Parkinson emphasized the significance of HydroWing's innovative tidal stream technology, designed to be cost-effective and scalable. The unique design involves a seabed-based supporting structure, with bi-directional turbines efficiently generating power as the tide ebbs and flows. Parkinson noted: "Our next-generation technology meets [the challenge of high operations and maintenance costs] head-on."
HydroWing's Morlais project will feature the latest Tocardo T-3 turbines, incorporating a Passive Pitch Mechanism developed by HydroWing and QED Naval. This mechanism enhances efficiency by allowing for increased blade dimensions without compromising reliability, resulting in a 50-60% boost in yield. Parkinson highlighted the collaboration's foresight, stating: "We joined forces in 2020 because we could see the huge potential of this turbine technology.
“The HydroWing team have scrutinised every aspect of our technology to ensure we have optimised each area in terms of cost reduction and improving efficiency so as to be able to deliver a truly commercially viable project at Morlais, with deployment in 2027,” Parkinson said. “Tidal energy is a crucial part of the mix to help achieve net zero targets. We believe that this tidal stream project will be a stepping stone towards lowering the costs for tidal energy and that our innovative HydroWing technology will help unlock the commercial viability of tidal energy around the world.”