Wales’ marine energy sector has received a further boost as £1.2m of EU funds will be invested to create a test area for developers in the Milford Haven Waterway.
The Marine Energy Test Area (META) will include zones for research and development and a network of seabed areas where marine energy developers can deploy and test their technology.
The investment aims to attract more companies to Wales by lowering the risks of developing marine technology and supporting developers, supply-chain businesses and universities involved in marine energy projects.
Finance Secretary Mark Drakeford, said: “We want Wales to be at the forefront of research and innovation in the marine energy field so I’m delighted to announce more than £1m of EU funds to help create this test area.
“It’s a very exciting time for marine energy in Wales and this initiative is another major step in building a thriving industry in Pembrokeshire and in Wales. We are committed to attracting developers from around the world to Welsh waters.”
The Milford Haven test area will become a showcase for Wales’ marine energy sector and forms part of the wider £76m Pembroke Dock Marine scheme, which is one of 11 projects included in the Swansea Bay City Deal.
The scheme will help to develop Pembrokeshire as a world-class centre for marine energy development, fabrication, testing and deployment.
The META investment follows last month’s announcement of £4.5m of EU and Welsh Government funding to develop the Morlais Demonstration Zone for tidal energy projects off the Anglesey coast.
Building on these investments, a delegation from the Welsh Government and Wales’ marine energy sector will be selling Wales to the world at this week’s Ocean Energy Europe event in Nantes, France where leading figures from the global marine sector will assemble.
David Jones, project director of Marine Energy Wales, said: “After discussing the META concept with industry over the last few years, we are pleased to secure the finance and support to now move towards delivery.
“Marine energy has already had a positive impact on our peripheral economies in Wales, supported local supply chain clustering and diversification and we see META contributing to the continued cost reduction currently being delivered by the sector.”