UK-based MeyGen and Sea Generation Wales have been awarded a share of a £20m fund to help drive growth in the UK’s marine energy industry.
The two companies have been chosen for funding under the UK government’s Marine Energy Array Demonstrator scheme (MEAD).
MeyGen is working with Andritz Hydro Hammerfest 1.4MW turbines, while Sea Generation Wales is working with SeaGen-S 2MW turbines developed by Marine Current Turbines (MCT).
Slated to begin operation by the end of March 2016, the projects were chosen after an open competition and based on the ability to generate a minimum of 7GWh annually.
UK Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker noted that the funding will enable the firms to take their projects to the next level and test their turbines in formations out at sea.
"These projects will provide valuable insight into how best to harness the power of the sea and take us one vital step closer to realising the full potential of marine in our future energy mix," Barker added.
"The UK, with its amazing natural resource and outstanding technical know-how, is already leading the way on marine power for the rest of the world to follow, and I want to ensure we stay top of this table."
Siemens Energy hydro and ocean unit CEO Achim Wörner said, "The Skerries project located in Anglesey, Wales, will be one of the first arrays deployed using the Siemens owned Marine Current Turbines SeaGen S tidal turbines."
"The marine consent for the project was recently awarded, the first tidal array to be consented in Wales. The 10MW array will be fully operational in 2015," Wörner added.
Commenting on the award, MeyGen CEO Dan Pearson said: "The grant is a ringing endorsement of our project and will be used across all construction aspects of delivering the demonstration phase."
Launched in April 2012, the MEAD scheme aims to support the development and testing of pre-commercial marine devices in array formations in British waters.
Marine energy could provide up to 20% of Britain’s current electricity demand by 2050, while the MEAD scheme would help in driving the sector towards commercialisation.
Image: UK Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker. Photo courtesy of gov.uk.