Minesto makes progress with Deep Green technology

Minesto makes progress with Deep Green technology

The concrete base for Minesto’s renewable energy project will be floated across the coast of North Wales as part of the project’s next stage of development.

The structure, which is an integral part of the £25m underwater kite project off the coast of Anglesey, was constructed by Ruthin-based Jones Bros Civil Engineering UK.

The technology is able to generate electricity by harnessing underwater currents in kites tethered to the sea floor.

Measuring 21.5m x 12.75m x 5m and comprising 15 hollow sections, it has now been floated in a dry dock at Birkenhead prior to being towed along the North Wales coast to Holyhead.

Known as Deep Green, the renewable technology will harness the power of the tide.

The concrete structure has been constructed as part of the test model, which will use a 0.5MW generator to demonstrate the technology.

In the long run, Deep Green’s developer is wants to generate 80MW at the site, enough to power roughly 70,000 homes.

A Jones Bros team of 20 worked on the construction of the base.

Project manager Eryl Evans said: “This has been a complex structure with a number of challenges to overcome.

“We have had to work with very tight tolerances to ensure a balance between buoyancy and weight; for the floatation and delivery of the structure, and its ability to sit on the sea bed.

“Once the structure has been manoeuvred to its location at Holyhead Deep, it will be filled with water to act as ballast to lower it to the sea bed, at which point the Minesto device will be tethered to the structure.”

The structure required 450 m3 of concrete and 180 tonnes of reinforced steel.  Once positioned on the sea bed, it will weigh 1,300 tonnes.

It was constructed 12 metres deep inside a dry dock, meaning all materials and plant had to be lifted in by a crane.

Eryl added: “We’ve been building balance of plant for other renewable energy projects such as wind farms for many years, but this involvement with a tidal scheme has been a first for Jones Bros.

“It’s good to expand our experience and be a part of what will be a significant maritime renewable energy project in North Wales.”

The company has been given €13m from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) through the Welsh European Funding Office, in order to help rollout the Deep Green technology.

Its award-winning technology is the only verified marine power plant that operates cost efficiently in areas with low-velocity currents.

Martin Edlund, CEO of Minesto, said: “The delivery of the gravity base structure marks a milestone for Minesto’s operations in Wales and the upcoming offshore installation in Holyhead Deep.

“Marine energy has tremendous potential for growth and secure, affordable clean energy supply in Wales and the UK.

“We look forward to continuing building this industry together with partners and suppliers.”

Minesto is a marine energy technology developer, founded in 2007 as a spin-off from Swedish aerospace manufacturer Saab. Since then, Minesto has successfully developed the unique Deep Green technology.

The company has operations in Sweden, Wales and Northern Ireland, with headquarters in Gothenburg, Sweden. Main owners are BGA Invest and Midroc New Technology.