Dive into the forefront of marine innovation with the Marine Energy Test Area (META)

We are thrilled to extend an invitation to learning groups from Pembrokeshire to utilise our industry-standard test facility. In our endeavour to foster a collaborative learning environment and further the research in marine technologies, we are launching a competition open to Pembrokeshire learners of all ages!

We encourage you to submit your ingenious ideas across three pivotal topics: underwater survey, platform stability, and marine habitat creation. This is an unparalleled opportunity for five groups of learners to bring their concepts to life and contribute to the pioneering field of marine energy. Seize this chance to interact with industry professionals, gain practical insights, and make waves in the marine sector!

The Marine Energy Test Area (META) is the national open water testing facility for marine energy technology.

Testing is essential to the development of marine energy.  Pembrokeshire Coastal Forum developed the test area to allow researchers to experiment with new ideas in the sea. It is made up of several areas of water in the Milford Haven Waterway.

The test area is not just a stepping stone for new tidal or wave power device designs. It also allows testing of parts, materials, or equipment the industry needs. Researchers come from across the world to use META. It is close to the port, and the companies that can build the equipment that is needed for the different tests.

We are now able to offer this industry standard test facility to five groups of learners from Pembrokeshire!

Could you be part of the Future Energy Industry in Pembrokeshire? 


We want to hear about your best ideas to solve one of these challenges! 

Send us a proposal for an experiment that investigates one of the following three topics:

Underwater Survey

Our Underwater Remote Operated Vehicle (ROV) currently has a camera to inspect equipment underwater.

Design an attachment for our ROV which will improve its survey work.

Platform Stability

Floating offshore wind platforms will be used to support wind turbines in the deep water of the Celtic Sea. They are held in place with strong lines anchored to the seabed. 

Design a feature that could be added to a platform to improve its stability in the waves. 

 We have 2 small buoys that measure movement, you can use these in your test design. 

Marine Habitat Creation

Design a micro habitat that could be attached to a marine energy device or cable to reduce the devices impact on the environment.  

How will you measure the success of your habitat and its impact? 

How to apply:

Monday 15
th January

Proposals in single side A3 format (please submit digitally) to tim.brew@pembrokeshirecoastalforum.org.uk

Entries accepted from small groups, whole classes, after school clubs or home school groups. 

Your Proposal should include:

  • What do you hope to find out?
  • Your ideas on what the test will look like.
  • How will you do the test?
  • What will your results tell you?

Each group will receive:  

  • £200 towards your experiments cost. 
  • Professional advice from the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult. 
  • Your experiment put into the test area. 
  • Workshop in school to make the most your data.

Our META operations team will ensure the test is carried out safely and in compliance with regulations. 

Groups will be selected to carry out their experiment during the spring term 2024 with support from META and our partners. 

The Energy Industry in Pembrokeshire

The energy sector is Pembrokeshire is changing with the development of:

  • Tidal and wave power 
  • Floating offshore wind in the Celtic Sea 
  • Hydrogen fuel 

By 2040, the sector aims to create thousands of new, well-paid, and exciting careers, STEM qualifications will be the passport to joining the energy revolution. 

Project Supporters

Marine Energy Test Area (META)

To protect wildlife and the safety of other users of the sea permission is needed before experimental equipment is put in the water. 

META has approval for doing experiments related to marine energy in the sea.  This supports the development of the sector and helps to bring new marine energy businesses to Pembrokeshire. 

META is run by Marine Energy Wales, a programme that is part of Pembrokeshire Coastal Forum CIC that supports the sustainable development of marine renewable energy. 


Marine Energy Engineering Centre of Excellence

The Marine Energy Engineering Centre of Excellence in Pembroke Dock provides support for innovation and development linking businesses with expert research.  MEECE is part of the ORE Catapult. 

As the UK’s leading technology innovation and research centre for offshore renewable energy, ORE Catapult works closely with some of the most innovative companies in our sector. All the new technologies and ideas that these companies develop are crucial to driving down the cost of our electricity, and increasing our energy security, and all their work is underpinned by STEM subjects.  

ORE Catapult: Delivering UK Growth from the Renewable Energy Revolution – YouTube

Pembroke Port

Pembroke Port’s buildings, and quayside are currently being upgraded to play an important role in the development of the renewable energy sector.  Pembroke Port is operated by the Port of Milford Haven.


Port of Milford Haven

The Port of Milford Haven is a Trust port which aims to bring sustainable benefits to the surrounding communities. The Port of Milford Haven is part of the Celtic Freeport which aims to bring investment to the waterway and support the transition to clean energy. 


Celtic Sea Power

Celtic Sea Power is works for a future powered by offshore renewables in Wales and SouthWest EnglandCeltic Sea Power manage the Pembrokeshire Demonstration Zone developing innovative ways of bringing the energy harnessed at sea to where it is needed on land. 


The Darwin Centre

The Darwin Centre aims to engage and enthuse young people and communities in STEM subjects through hands on field trips and workshops, from rock pooling to theoretical nuclear physics.  The charity raises aspirations through opening access to experts within the STEM industry and highlights potential careers available to the young people of Pembrokeshire. 


Pembrokeshire College

Pembrokeshire College, located in Haverfordwest, is the county’s leading provider of post-16 education and training. With a modern campus, it offers a wide range of courses, from A-levels to apprenticeships and higher-level courses, catering to both young people and adults. The college, with around 2,000 full-time and 12,500 part-time learners and has excellent facilities, including study spaces, IT suites, and specialised centres. 


Our Funders

This project from Pembrokeshire Coastal Forum would not be possible without the support of our funders and advice from our supporters. 
The META learner competition is underpinned by the Skills and Talent programme of the Swansea Bay City deal jointly funded by the Welsh and UK governments alongside private sector investment.