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Green light for wave energy technology off the coast of Pembrokeshire

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BOMBORA has received the green light for both its on-shore and off-shore licence applications for the deployment and testing of their mWave™ wave energy technology off the coast of Pembrokeshire. This is the first Marine Licence to be granted for a wave energy device in Wales.
Lesley Griffiths, the Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs said,
“I am pleased Bombora has received a marine licence to deploy and operate the first wave device in Welsh waters. This is a significant step forward for the industry and our journey towards a low carbon future for Wales. Renewable energy is an integral part of our vision for a more sustainable future. Following our declaration of a climate change emergency, it is more important than ever projects such as Bombora’s wave energy converter are realised.
“The First Minister and I have met with Natural Resources Wales to ensure we maximise opportunities to improve the planning process helping us to realise our potential to lead the way on marine energy.
“I hope we can learn from this project and how it interacts with the marine environment to further develop our understanding and the renewable industry in Wales for the benefit of all.”
Bombora is currently mid-way through its project to design, build, deploy, test and validate a 1.5MW mWave wave energy converter. In 2018 Bombora secured a £10.3 million European Regional Development Fund grant through the Welsh Government to support its Pembrokeshire mWave Demonstration Project.
Securing the required consents in a reasonable timeframe is a critical requirement for all marine energy projects.

Project Manager, Madeline Cowley commented, “Devices need to be tested in open ocean environments to validate their performance and offshore operations processes. We are very pleased with the thorough and timely approach adopted by Natural Resources Wales in processing our consent applications. This reflects Wales’ strong commitment to the marine energy sector and will attract other developers to the region”.

Rhian Jardine, Head of the Development Planning and Marine in Natural Resources Wales (NRW) said:
“NRW is committed to doing all we can to tackle the climate emergency including supporting the deployment of renewable energy projects while ensuring the sustainable management of the marine environment.
“We have been working with Bombora Wave Power Europe Limited on their Wave Energy Converter proposal in East Pickard Bay, Pembrokeshire.
The marine licence and EIA Consent decision has now been successfully granted for the project by NRW’s Permitting Service, determined within 5 months of formal submission.”
Collaborating closely with the “Marine Energy Test Area” (META) through Marine Energy Wales and the Pembrokeshire Coastal Forum has enabled Bombora to navigate and expedite the consents.
“This is another important milestone in Bombora’s plans to deploy their innovative low carbon wave energy technology. It is great to see continued progress with their project plans and we are delighted to have supported the company since the decision to set-up their European headquarters in Wales” said David Jones, Director of Marine Energy Wales.
Bombora is pressing ahead with plans for wave parks across Europe. The first of these is a 2MW project in Lanzarote, Spain.

The mWave deployment in Pembrokeshire will be carefully monitored to confirm the environmental footprint of the wave energy converter. This information will form a critical element of Bombora’s future wave park project consenting applications.

mWave is fully submerged under the sea and is non-disruptive to ocean users and marine life. These design elements, in addition to its innovative cell membrane technology, set mWave apart from other wave energy devices by delivering minimal visual and environmental impact.

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Further coronavirus restriction relaxations brought forward

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FURTHER changes to the coronavirus restrictions have been announced by the First Minister Mark Drakeford today.

The Welsh Government has confirmed further relaxations will be brought forward from 17 May to 3 May – including the resumption of indoor supervised activities for children, indoor organised activities for up to 15 adults, such as exercise classes, and the re-opening of community centres.

This means Wales will have completed the move to Alert Level 3 by Monday 3 May.

From Saturday 24 April, the rule of 6 will allow for up to six people from six households to meet outdoors, not including children under 11 years of age or carers from those households.

The Welsh Government has also confirmed the relaxations that will take place on Monday 26 April. Outdoor attractions, including outdoor swimming pools, funfairs and theme parks, will be allowed to reopen, while outdoor hospitality can also resume, including at cafes, pubs and restaurants.

Organised outdoor activities for up to 30 people will be able to take place and weddings receptions can begin again outdoors for up to 30 people.

Wales has the lowest coronavirus rates of the UK nations.  The successful vaccine programme continues with a higher proportion of people vaccinated in Wales than other nations of the UK for both first and second doses.

Changes from Monday 3 May:

  • Gyms, leisure centres and fitness facilities being able to reopen;
  • People will also again be able to form extended households with one other household.

Relaxations planned for 17 May will be brought forward to the 3 May, including:

  • The resumption of indoor supervised activities for children;
  • Indoor organised activities for up to 15 adults (such as exercise classes and swimming lessons);
  • And the re-opening of community centres.

The First Minister said:

“The sacrifices we have made continue to show results. By us all working together and sticking to the rules, combined with our vaccination programme, mean we continue to make progress. Rates of the virus continue to fall and the public health situation is improving. 

“Due to these efforts we are able confirm more easing of the restrictions from 26 April and for early May we are again able to bring forward some of our plans. However, this progress is dependent on all of us continuing to work together to keep Wales safe.

“At the last three-week review, I set out a forward-look of how the restrictions could continue to be lifted in the weeks ahead, if the public health situation remains stable.

“It will be for the incoming Welsh Government to confirm these arrangements at the next three-week review, which will be held on May 13 – a week after the election. It is my assessment that the hospitality sector – bars, pubs, restaurants and cafes – will be able to open indoors from May 17, together with all other tourist accommodation, indoor entertainment and attractions.”

Further possible easements are subject to the public health situation remaining favourable.

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Tragedy above Milford Haven takeaway

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DYFED POWYS POLICE has confirmed that a 20-year-old male passed away in Milford Haven last Saturday, April 17.

Police were called to the USA Fried Chicken store on Charles Street at around 1:30pm but have said there are no suspicious circumstances.

A Herald reporter was at the scene and witnessed a number of police cars and an ambulance while plain-clothed officers were also seen.

HM Coroner has been informed.

A Welsh Ambulance Service spokesperson added: “We were called to Charles Street in Milford Haven on Saturday 17 April at approximately 1.34pm to reports of a medical emergency. We attended the scene with one emergency ambulance where we assisted colleagues from the police.”

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Health

Tavernspite School the ‘healthiest of schools despite the pandemic’

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THE STAFF, governors, parents, and of course, the children of Tavernspite Community Primary School are delighted to gain the Welsh Network of Healthy School Schemes National Quality Award for an incredible 5th time after a recent and very rigorous assessment.

The school is already well known and highly regarded for its outstanding work in developing the health and wellbeing of all members of its school community. To achieve this prestigious recognition in the midst of a pandemic is all the more impressive. 

Health and Wellbeing at the school is led by teacher, Lauren Arthur, who has done an incredible job preparing for this re-assessment and raising the profile of the Healthy Schools scheme.

The assessor Mrs Lynne Perry, enjoyed a virtual tour and presentation by Year 3 pupils who took great pleasure in proudly showing Mrs Perry all the wonderful work the school has done to ensure its children are safe, happy with high levels of emotional and physical wellbeing.

In her report, Mrs Perry wrote, ‘Tavernspite School continues to be an outstanding health promoting school. The health promoting school ethos is evident across the whole school population and it runs seamlessly throughout everything that the school does. Tavernspite School continues to give high priority to promoting and enhancing the health and well-being of the whole school community.’

The school received fantastic support from Mrs Liz Western, Senior Public Health Officer and Lead for Healthy Schools and Pre-schools, Pembrokeshire, to whom they are very grateful.

Head teacher Kevin Phelps said, ‘We were delighted to receive this award for the fifth time, particularly considering the experiences we have all been through these past twelve months. Health and wellbeing has never been so important and we are proud to be leading the way like this.’

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