UK plans for massive underwater energy farm

PLANS for a massive new underwater energy farm, now in their final stages, will harness the tidal streams off the Welsh coast producing enough electricity to power 5,000 homes.

PLANS for a massive new underwater energy farm, now in their final stages, will harness the tidal streams off the Welsh coast producing enough electricity to power 5,000 homes.

New underwater wind farm

If the project gets the go-ahead, construction is likely to start next year, and the new underwater wind farm – as it has become known – should be operational by 2010.

The scheme will use tidal streams – fast-moving currents created by rising and falling tides – to turn the blades of large turbines on the sea bed.

The turbines will be installed off St David’s Peninsula in Pembrokeshire, South Wales.

Lunar Energy

The project is being developed by Lunar Energy – a company which specialises in producing reliable renewable energy – and Rototech Engineering, along with power generating company, E.ON, the German conglomerate which now owns the UK’s Powergen.

It is also supported by the UK’s Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform which so far has ploughed over £2.5 million into the development of the new scheme.

Tidal energy increasingly popular

Converting tidal energy has become increasingly popular, because it can generate electricity without burning fossil fuels which create high levels of carbon emissions.

It is also predictable, unlike the wind, and studies have indicated that around five per cent of the UK’s electricity could be derived from tidal energy, worth about £1 billion per year.

Environmental assessment

The next step is an environmental assessment about which the companies are very confident.

Lunar Energy says that the design is “specifically engineered to have minimal or no impact on shipping, and marine life.”

Blade rotation is very slow and is expected to have minimal impact on fish and mammals.

“An earlier assessment by Robert Gordon University concluded that, overall, the technology is expected to have no significant environmental impact.”

For more information visit the links below.

Lunar Energy www.lunarenergy.co.uk

Rototech Engineering www.rotech.co.uk

E.ON www.eon.com

UK Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform www.berr.gov.uk/energy

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