HydroWing reveals plans for tidal energy project in Wales

HydroWing has announced plans for the 2027 deployment of its next generation tidal energy technology at the Morlais tidal energy site in Anglesey.

Tocardo turbines
Tocardo turbines - HydroWing

The plans follow the recent announcement that HydroWing has been awarded a contract for a 10MW tidal stream energy project in Wales from the government’s latest Contracts for Difference round.

Managed by Menter Môn, the Morlais site is the UK’s largest consented tidal energy scheme. The site is said to have the potential to generate up to 240MW of low carbon clean electricity for the National Grid and on-shore substations, by renting berths to various turbine development companies.

According to HydroWing, work has started on delivering their project, including engaging with local stakeholders and supply chain companies.

Research has already been conducted in partnership with Bangor University to assess the velocity of local tide currents. The outputs are said to have been ‘encouraging’ in informing expectations on the yield characteristics of the site.

In a statement, Richard Parkinson, MD of Inyanga Marine Energy Group, the parent company for HydroWing, said: “This ground-breaking project will launch our innovative tidal stream technology at utility scale. Commercialisation of the tidal energy sector has so far been held back by high operations and maintenance costs. Our next generation technology meets that challenge head on.”

The company said that HydroWing is designed to be a cost-effective and scalable solution to tidal stream energy generation.

A supporting structure sits on the seabed under its own weight. The ‘wings’ which hold the bi-directional turbines are then lowered into position on this structure, making HydroWing ‘straightforward to deploy’.

The technology used for the Morlais project will incorporate HydroWing Tocardo T-3 turbines. The company has been developing a Passive Pitch Mechanism which integrates with the Tocardo Bi-Blade system, which Parkinson said allows the blade dimensions to be increased, while shedding pitch at higher loads and increasing the yield by 50-60 per cent, thereby making projects in lower flow locations more ‘feasible’ and ‘investible’.

Parkinson added: “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.”