Jobs created by funding for Isle of Wight business

By a County Press reporter

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

 

Jobs created by funding for Isle of Wight business

Jason Hayman, managing director of Isle of Wight business Sustainable Marine Energy (SME).

A TIDAL energy company has announced it is to create new jobs thanks to fresh funding.

Sustainable Marine Energy, based in East Cowes, has been awarded cash through Solent Offshore Renewable Energy Consortium (SOREC) and the Future Solent Green Growth Fund.

SOREC is to provide up to £50,000 of match-funding, while Future Solent will provide up to £100,000 of match-funding, which the company has said will lead to the creation of up to ten jobs.

The company will invest the money in developing its underwater tidal energy platform PLAT-O, which the company said could create sustainable, reliable and carbon-free energy with no emissions.

SOREC is led by the Isle of Wight Council with private investors while Future Solent is a joint project between Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and the Partnership for Urban South Hampshire (PUSH).

Sustainable Marine Energy managing director Jason Hayman said: "We are very excited to receive this funding and extremely grateful to the Isle of Wight council and Future Solent for their vision and support, which ensure we can delivery key projects and employ more staff for the development of PLAT-O.

"We are proud of the part we already play in the Isle of Wight’s thriving marine engineering industry as PLAT-O is being designed, built and tested on the Island."

He said the boost would have a knock on benefit for the company’s suppliers on the Island and in the Solent region.

Isle of Wight Council leader Cllr Ian Stephens said: "The offshore renewable energy industry is highly important for our Island’s economy and the new well-paid jobs that SME is creating, thanks to the SOREC grant are evidence of the impact that can be made in this sector."

What is PLAT-O?

A unique, subsea platform on which electricity-generating tidal turbines can be installed. It will then be taut moored in the tidal flow.

The design reduces the costs associated with traditional tidal energy set-ups, which need heavy machinery and shipping to install them, as it can be towed to the site, deployed underwater regardless of the seabed type and more easily maintained.

The design has been tested in tanks and SME said it was working with local businesses to build and test a prototype in association with Yarmouth Harbour.

The project has also been part funded by the Department of Energy and Climate change through the Energy Entrepreneurs Award.

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