Anglesey gets a further boost to its ambition to be a centre of excellence for tidal stream energy this week as another major marine energy developer commits to the project.
Morlais, the tidal stream energy demonstration zone off the west coast of Anglesey, and award-winning Orkney-based Orbital Marine Energy team up to sign a new agreement. The deal will see a commercial scale array of Orbital’s ‘O2’ tidal turbine, with each 2MW unit capable of producing electricity equivalent to the demands of 1,500 typical UK homes.
Morlais is run by Anglesey social enterprise Menter Môn. The first stage of the project, which is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the aims to secure consent for the development of the demonstration zone. The second stage will put the necessary infrastructure in place for developers of tidal energy converters such as Orbital to demonstrate their technology on a commercial scale. The project has the potential to create one of the largest tidal stream energy sites in the world.
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 on 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 to the community through the project, by creating jobs and generating income to be re-invested locally through Menter Môn initiatives. Orbital’s technology is designed around the use of locally Welsh Government, based workboat vessels and service teams for all installation and maintenance so 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 develop a 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 on Anglesey.”
Rhun ap Iorwerth, AM for Ynys Môn 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.”