A COMPANY which is conducting research into harnessing the power of the waves plans to have a test generator in the sea by the end of next summer.

Bombora Wave Energy is an Australian company with its European HQ in Pembroke Dock.

As the company continues to develop its wave energy converter, named the mWave, it has been inviting local groups to see the progress for themselves.

“The next 12 months is going to be very exciting,” said Chris Williams, Bombora’s commercial manager.

While past projects have conducted research and development into wave energy in Pembroke Dock in the past, Bombora’s plan is to create a wave-powered energy converter and turn it into a sustainable business.

Its upcoming trial is a chance to test the company’s patented technology.

The mWave works by the force of wave pressure pushing over an air-filled rubber membrane: when the force of the wave hits the membrane, it pushes the air inside downwards and turns a turbine.

The full-sized mWave device will have a series of 8 membrane covered “cells”, each pushing a turbine below, with the capacity to generate 1.5 megawatts of electricity.

Bombora currently plans to place a test version of the mWave off the Pembrokeshire coastline at the end of summer 2020.

While it gears up for the test, it is making sure that people living in Pembrokeshire understand what it is doing and what the effect on the local area will be.

“We are trying to engage with the local community. What we want to do is make sure that people understand what we are doing here is for the greater good,” said Mr Williams.

Recent visitors include south Pembrokeshire MP Simon Hart, and the Pembroke Dock Town Team.

Town team members Josh Beynon, Dilys Burrell and Mark Carter toured Bombora’s test facility at Pembroke Port on Tuesday, August 6.

The visit gave Bombora the chance to highlight the amount of local workers who are being employed because of the project – not just by the company itself, but as contractors.

There are currently 23 local Bombora employees, as well as 35 members of staff at Mainstay Marine Solutions and Altrad Services, who will be working on the project between them over the next six months.

The verdict from the town team

Dilys Burrell said: “I worked in sustainable energy before I moved back to Pembrokeshire so I have been watching the developing marine energy industry in Pembroke Dock with great interest.

I am really proud that Bombora chose Pembroke Dock as their new home after a global search, and impressed that they have already created 20 new jobs in our town.

“Marine energy and engineering offers a range of career options for young people in our area, at a variety of skill levels. I’m keen to encourage strong links between our local schools and companies like Bombora so that children growing up in Pembrokeshire can see that our county offers exciting and world leading career opportunities.

Josh Beynon added: “Renewable energy is becoming ever more important with the worsening effects of climate change.

“Bombora’s project is ambitious, modern and consistent with the way the world is heading and it is great for the town of Pembroke Dock to have a forward thinking and ambitious company base its headquarters here.

“It is extremely positive with so much happening in the renewable energy industry in Pembrokeshire.

“This project creates jobs but also allows for the free flow of knowledge into the area and sends a message to others that Pembroke Dock has the infrastructure, supply chain and ambition for these types of renewable energy projects.”