Marine Energy Wales announced the opening during a launch event at Pembroke Port on Thursday September 26.

With eight pre-consented sites located in and around the Milford Haven Waterway, the META project aims to help developers deploy, de-risk and develop their marine energy technologies.

The £1.9 million project is being supported by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government, alongside the Coastal Communities Fund.

Phase one consists of five sites which are directly adjacent to Pembroke Port infrastructure, offering easy access for testing marine energy equipment in low risk areas. This early stage testing will provide a springboard for advancing devices to commercial operation.

Joseph Kidd, Operations and Development Manager for META, said: “This announcement comes as a culmination of two years of hard work, and we’re delighted to officially say that we are open for business. The purpose of META is to reduce the time, cost and risks faced by marine energy developers to accelerate development in the sector, and this growth has never been more critical.

“We are facing a climate emergency and marine energy will play a significant role in reaching our 2050 net-zero emission targets. Public support for the sector is also at an all-time high, so we can’t wait to start welcoming our first customers and getting kit into the water.”

META will complement the existing test centre network across the UK and will provide a stepping stone for developers, supporting them on their journey to the two Welsh Demonstration Zones.

As well as offering sites for the testing of marine energy equipment, META will also support research, innovation and monitoring methodology projects, working closely with Welsh universities and the ORE Catapult-led Marine Energy Engineering Centre of Excellence (MEECE).

Both META and MEECE are part of Pembroke Dock Marine - a collaborative project that will develop a world class centre for the development of marine energy in Pembrokeshire. The project, which is due to be part-funded by the Swansea Bay City Deal, also includes the Pembrokeshire Demonstration Zone and infrastructure upgrades at Pembroke Port.

The Swansea Bay City Deal is a £1.3 billion investment in a number of transformational projects across South West Wales, funded by the UK Government, the Welsh Government, the public sector and the private sector.

The City Deal is being led by Carmarthenshire Council, Neath Port Talbot Council, Pembrokeshire Council and Swansea Council, in partnership with Swansea University, the University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Hywel Dda University Health Board and Swansea Bay University Health Board.