Consent for the world’s first low velocity tidal energy project has been approved after the Aberdeen-based Xodus Group delivered the environmental impact assessment and licence application for Minesto’s Holyhead Deep project.
The consent is for a 0.5 MW Deep Green device which will demonstrate and prove the technology ahead of plans for installing a 10 MW array at the site.
The installation site is located in the southern corner of Holyhead Deep, 6.5 km off the coast of Anglesey and has been carefully selected to maintain separation from shipping lanes and to minimise the impact on other sea users.
The first phase of the project will include a single Deep Green device unit, seabed foundation and a surfaced moored buoy, with installation planned this year.
The in-depth assessment carried out by Xodus considered the potential impacts acts on fisheries, marine mammals, sea birds, marine archaeology and cultural heritage as well as shipping and navigation, which were concluded to be ‘not significant’.
Holyhead Deep marks the starting point of the industrialisation of the Deep Green technology. It is the first low-velocity tidal energy project in the world. Holyhead Deep matches all the site requirements by providing low-flow tidal velocities (1.5–2 m/s mean peak flow) at a depth of 80–100 meters.
Following successful deployment and testing of the first installed power plant, more Deep Green devices will be installed to form a tidal energy array.
James Monnington, environmental consultant at Xodus, said: “We have developed specialist expertise in environmental impact assessments for renewable energy and tidal projects and look forward to working with the developer further as it seeks to roll out an array to provide a robust alternative energy source for the UK.”