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Marine Equipment Testing Area

A project to understand the potential for developing the Milford Haven Waterway into a Marine Equipment Testing Area has been awarded funding by Arwain Sir Benfro.

Arwain Sir Benfro – the Local Action Group (LAG) for Pembrokeshire, administered by PLANED has provided funding of £10,488 to the Pembrokeshire Coastal Forum for a Feasibility Study for Marine Equipment Testing Area (META). This is funded through the LEADER programme, which is part of the Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014 – 2020, Funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government.

The purpose of this proposed feasibility study for a META is to understand barriers for development and highlight collaborative solutions for resolution, with the ultimate aim to enable the nurturing of local development and skills to realise economic potential in the ‘new’ marine energy market. The Pembrokeshire region is uniquely positioned with a significant and diverse ocean energy resource close to population and port and situated within a well-established energy centre. Marine Energy Pembrokeshire is a leading organisation in the Welsh marine energy developing industry, with membership expanding from 8 to over 90, including worldwide technology developers and Pembrokeshire supply chain companies. There have been multiple site visits from companies looking at Wales as a potential location. A critical need from these companies is the importance of a device/component testing area along with the supporting supply chain capability during project development phase, to de-risk larger scale deployment.

The Milford Haven Waterway is an ideal location for sea testing due to the diverse resource climates within proximity to the Port and local supply chain skilled in the energy sector. The feasibility study will examine the best process and associated costs for the development of a Milford Haven Waterway facility for marine renewable devices. It will include: –

  • Review of existing evidence within the UK and how META fits with offerings in other regions
  • Research through the MEP working group to examine the requirement and potential for development
  • Working with Port and regulatory authorities to understand process of developing test area within the Haven (e.g. licensing, conservation and other spatial requirements)
  • Assessment on how to best promote META to increase Pembrokeshire attractiveness as base for operations
  • Provide process and recommendations for the development and subsequent best promotion of a marine equipment test area

Recommendations and subsequent development will potentially support marine energy device developers, supply chain companies and universities in developing new products and services, through the future creation of a marine energy test area.

Arwain Sir Benfro is currently supporting project ideas from local community groups, organisations and businesses. As the Local Action Group for Pembrokeshire, we bring together a mix of local community representatives, business, third sector, local authority partners.

LEADER is supporting all kinds of activity: mentoring, training, feasibility studies or pilot projects that test an innovative new idea. It can also be used for projects that improve local skills, make better use of a local resource or realise the economic potential of part of the locality leading to a ‘new’ outcome or product.

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