Government renewables announcement

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Friday March 8th, 2024 

North Wales tidal energy scheme welcomes government renewables announcement

Menter Môn Morlais Ltd has welcomed the news that tidal stream energy has again been ringfenced by UK Government as part of its most recent Contracts for Difference (CfD) energy auction this week.

The announcement came a week earlier than expected and is part of the so called AR6 (allocation round). It includes £10 million set aside for tidal stream energy projects such as Morlais off the coast of Ynys Môn (Anglesey), as part of a greatly increased £105m pot for innovative technologies. CfD is the government’s main mechanism for supporting low-carbon electricity generation, putting measures such as guaranteed pricing in place.

Earlier rounds have delivered a total of 28MW for four developers of tidal energy technology linked to Morlais, giving them some certainty around their involvement. But with a consented maximum generating capacity of 240 MW, the Morlais team is keen to see additional megawatts secured this year.

Andy Billcliff, Chief Executive of Menter Môn Morlais said: “With this latest AR6 announcement we are hopeful that we can build on the success of previous rounds. For us a positive outcome would send a clear message of confidence to our stakeholders – from developers of tidal technology already signed-up to Morlais, to future potential investors and partners. 

“As with any project of this scale, we’re on a journey, and each allocation round is a small step on that journey, we know there’s a long way to go, so we’re not complacent. We’re determined to be a lead player in this emerging sector so that we can achieve what we set out to do – deliver local benefit and add value throughout the supply chain, our communities and the environment.

“We are under no illusions as to what’s at stake with AR6. It is good news that tidal stream is protected, and a successful outcome would mean that we can get more devices in the water to generate electricity to secure that added value.”

The outcome of AR6 is expected to be announced at the end of September.

As a company Menter Môn Morlais Ltd owns the Morlais infrastructure, including the recently completed landfall substation. It also holds the Marine Licence which means they are legally responsible for the project. The landfall substation and cabling to the grid connection were recently completed, the first devices are expected to be deployed from 2026.

Morlais is the largest consented tidal energy site in Europe. It provides developers with a reduced risk model of deploying their technology on a commercial scale. The first phase of Morlais project was funded by the European Regional Development fund through Welsh Government.  The Isle of Anglesey County Council, The NDA and the North Wales Growth Deal also support the project.

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