Marine Energy Wales has submitted an environmental scoping report to Natural Resources Wales and relevant stakeholders, asking for their scoping opinion for the development of the Marine Energy Test Area (META) project in and around the Milford Haven Waterway.
META will see the creation of a series of pre-consented, non-grid connected areas suitable for a range of component, sub-assembly and marine energy device tests. The scoping report considers a mix of wave and tidal energy testing and asks for a formal opinion on what issues should be covered by an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). This report represents the next significant step in bringing META to reality after site selection and feasibility studies began in 2017.
META is aiming to be open for business as early as next year with specified activities accommodated in association with the Port of Milford Haven. The Scoping Opinion will determine which key issues the EIA should address and what environmental surveys need to be undertaken to enable operations and deployment of full-scale devices in 2020.
“This is a significant step forward for META and marine energy in Wales,” Joseph Kidd, Operations Manager for META, said. “META will fill the gap for early stage marine energy testing in the UK and combined with the £76 million Pembroke Dock Marine Project, will place Pembrokeshire and Wales on the main stage for this emerging global market. With ongoing support, marine energy could play an important role in delivering on a clean industrial strategy for Wales”.
The £1.9 million project is being supported by the European Regional Development Fund through Welsh Government, along with the Coastal Communities Fund.