Modelling the hydrodynamic and morphological impacts of a tidal stream development in Ramsey Sound

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Abstract

A number of sites around the UK are being considered for development of tidal stream energy, one of which is Ramsey Sound off the coast of Pembrokeshire, South Wales. The Sound was used to test the prototype of the Delta Stream by Tidal Energy Ltd. After initial testing, a 10 MW tidal array was proposed at St David's Head. To investigate any possible environmental impacts of the array due to energy extraction, a case study of the Pembrokeshire coast was performed using a high-resolution depth averaged hydrodynamic model, Telemac2D, to investigate changes to hydrodynamics and morphodynamics. Results show that the proposed array of nine tidal energy converters will cause alterations to eddy propagation leading to changes in the velocity field up to 24 km from the tidal array. Changes in morphodynamics are predicted through alterations to the bed shear stress. Changes to the mean and maximum bed shear stress, over a 30-day period, are found to be more localised and extend 12 km from the array. These changes indicate that the proposed tidal array will lead to localised sediment accumulation and will act as a barrier to sediment transport, with potential consequences for the benthic ecology of the region.

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Haverson, D., Bacon, J., Smith, H. C. M., Venugopal, V., & Xiao, Q. (2018). Modelling the hydrodynamic and morphological impacts of a tidal stream development in Ramsey Sound. Renewable Energy, 126, 876–887. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.renene.2018.03.084

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