Anglesey has received a further boost to its ambition to become a centre of excellence for tidal stream energy as Orbital Marine Power, the leading Scottish based tidal technology developer, has signed an agreement to demonstrate its award-winning floating tidal technology at the Morlais Tidal Energy Project.
The agreement with Menter Môn, the not for profit developers of the project, would see a commercial scale tidal array of Orbital’s recently unveiled ‘O2’ 2MW tidal turbine which Orbital believes will be the most powerful tidal generating platform in the world. Each 2 MW unit is capable of producing electricity equivalent to the demands of 1,500 typical UK homes.
The Morlais Tidal Energy Project is being developed with part funding by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government, to facilitate commercial deployments of a range of tidal energy technologies and has the potential to create one of the largest tidal stream energy sites in the world. Menter Môn was first awarded rights to develop the site from the Crown Estate in 2014. The Morlais project has secured a grid connection offer and following completion of environmental assessments, a consent application is due to be submitted in mid 2019.
Gerallt Llywelyn Jones, Director with Morlais said: “This is great news for us and shows that there is confidence in what we are aiming to achieve in Anglesey. Orbital Marine Power has a great reputation for innovation in this sector and we are delighted to be working closely with them.
“One of our key aims is to secure maximum benefit in Anglesey through the project, by generating income that can be re-invested into our other development and job creation initiatives. Orbital’s floating tidal technology is designed around the use of locally based workboat vessels and service teams for all installation and maintenance requirements and we therefore believe they will be a great fit towards meeting our objectives”
Orbital Marine’s CEO Andrew Scott said, “The Morlais project gives us line of sight to a commercial and scalable tidal energy array in UK waters. The concentration of tidal energy off the coast here, supported by great infrastructure in North Wales, makes this an ideal location to build out a new marine industry that can create new demand for skills and services both locally and further afield. So we are delighted to be working with the Morlais team to help realise the tidal power opportunity that exists in Anglesey’s waters.”
Also attending the signing, Rhun ap Iorwerth, Assembly Member for Anglesey said: “Having yet another innovative energy partner coming on board is a big boost for the Morlais project and is great news for Anglesey. I’m proud of the work that Menter Môn is doing here on the island through Morlais, which has huge potential to put us on the map as a hub for tidal stream energy.”