Tidal Energy hits back at its critics



The company's DeltaStream device stopped operating in March, three months after it was launched off the coast of south-west Wales.

The company behind a prototype tidal energy device in Wales, which has received £8 million of EU funding, has hit back at critics who claim that the project was cancelled early owing to technical faults.

Tidal Energy’s DeltaStream device stopped operating last March, three months after it was launched off the coast of south-west Wales. The project, which was originally conceived 15 years ago, has received heavy criticism from local politicians.

Andrew Davies, leader of the Welsh Conservatives, was reported as saying that the project was at risk of becoming a “wet elephant”.

Tidal Energy went into administration last October. Its development director Chris Williams said: “The claims all stem from a local Welsh Assembly member playing politics. The DeltaStream device is an R&D prototype covered in hundreds of sensors, equipment that is pinging terabytes of data on a daily basis. It has provided us with data we’ve never had before.”

According to Williams, the company had planned to remove the prototype after three months. But critics say it was removed after a “technical fault” stopped it from generating electricity just weeks after installation. Williams said that the only technical fault was with a sonar sensor, designed to monitor for wildlife near the turbine.

Williams said: “During testing we were able to verify almost exactly our predictions of the performance and efficiencies of the rotor. We have not only proven the turbine works but the unique selling points of DeltaStream technology and all the patents and know-how that go with it. That is being fed into our commercial models to justify how much a production model will cost.”

Tidal Energy is in talks with a prospective buyer.


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