Wales Celebrates Launch of First Tidal Energy Site at Morlais
Posted 20/10/2023 13:57
The inauguration of the substation linked to the Morlais tidal energy site on Anglesey in Wales, by the first minister of Wales Mark Drakeford, signifies a significant milestone in the tidal energy sector and for the ambitious project itself. Managed by the Anglesey-based social enterprise Menter Môn, the Morlais site is set to transform Wales' energy landscape and propel the region towards a sustainable, low-carbon future.
Being the largest consented tidal energy scheme in the UK, the Morlais project, located off the west coast of Holy Island, has been a focus of dedicated efforts for over a decade. Securing the Crown Estate lease for the 35km2 seabed zone in 2014 and subsequently obtaining consent in 2021, the project has made substantial progress in establishing onshore infrastructure, with plans to deploy the first tidal energy devices at sea in 2026.
Welcoming the project's significance, Mark Drakeford emphasized the pivotal role Morlais will play in Wales' net zero ambitions and highlighted the importance of investing in clean energy infrastructure for future generations. Anticipated to generate up to 240MW of low-carbon electricity, Morlais stands as a pioneering model in the industry, facilitating developers of tidal energy devices with the necessary consent and infrastructure to supply electricity to the grid.
With several prominent developers already engaged in the scheme, including Minesto, HydoWing, QED Naval, Verdant Power, and Magallanes Renovables, discussions with additional stakeholders are in advanced stages, solidifying Morlais' position as a leading force in Wales' clean energy transition.
Gerallt Llewelyn Jones, a key figure in the project's evolution, highlighted the collective efforts and determination that have culminated in this significant milestone. Rooted in the local community and dedicated to fostering a sustainable and renewable energy future, the Morlais project exemplifies Menter Môn's commitment to regional growth and sustainable energy development.
In alignment with the project's commitment to local economic development, Ruthin-based Jones Bros Civil Engineering has been instrumental in the construction of the substation and associated cabling work, connecting the scheme to the national grid, in collaboration with other local enterprises.
Funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh government, the project has garnered support from the Isle of Anglesey County Council, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, and the North Wales Growth Deal, underscoring its regional significance and far-reaching impact.