One way to lessen the effects of climate change is to reduce the level of carbon dioxide released into the air. This can be done by burning less coal and gas and getting our energy from cleaner sustainable sources, such as electricity from tidal flows that SeaGen can harness.
It has been estimated that the power from the tides around the UK and Ireland is equivalent to about three to four nuclear power stations. If we can ultimately harness this energy through projects like the Skerries Tidal Stream Array then millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide can be saved.
We recognise that the waters around Anglesey are special. As well as the marine mammal populations that are a feature of surrounding areas including dolphins, porpoises, seals and basking sharks, a number of species of flora and fauna have been recorded and we want the Skerries Tidal Stream Array to happily co-exist with nature during the period that the array is licensed to be there.
SeaGen Wales have implemented a rigorous environmental study looking at the current environmental use of the area and assessing the possible impacts of the proposed scheme. A team of experts in marine mammals, fisheries, landscape, coastal processes, birds, benthic ecology, underwater noise and navigation has been put together to produce a robust assessment of the possible environmental impacts of the Skerries Tidal Stream Array. The findings of these assessments will be published in the Environmental Statement which will be submitted along with the application for consent to the Welsh Assembly Government.
Although MCT have had one SeaGen device operating in Strangford Lough since 2008 and this has been subject to a comprehensive environmental monitoring programme, some of the possible effects of an array of devices are still unknown so an environmental monitoring will be established in the Skerries to bridge the knowledge gap between the Strangford project and the Skerries.
When in operation, the SeaGen turbines rotate approximately 14 revolutions per minute - which is slow enough to be unlikely to pose a threat to man or wildlife. So far, SeaGen’s operation in Strangford Lough is proving not to have any significant impact on the marine environment and it has been agreed to cease monitoring in March 2011.