Morlais Public Inquiry Begins on December 1st

Menter Môn is looking forward to the next phase of the process to secure permission to develop its tidal energy project, Morlais.

As the Public Inquiry into the Anglesey tidal stream energy development begins, Dafydd Gruffydd, Managing Director of Menter Môn talks about the potential benefits of the project to the island and wider north Wales region.

“We’re excited to start on this next crucial step in the process to ensure Morlais becomes a reality.  We’ll continue to explain to the public the benefits the scheme can bring to the area – both in terms of the economy and environment.”

This is the first time a social enterprise has made an application for a project of this scale. Morlais has the potential to scale up over time to a generating capacity of 240 MW of electricity, enough for around 180,000 typical households.

Dafydd explains: “The Morlais journey at Menter Môn started back in 2014 when we secured the Crown Estate lease for the demonstration zone off the Anglesey coast near Holyhead. It’s a first for us and the largest project that Menter Môn has ever undertaken.

“Ensuring local benefit is the driver for all our project, Morlais is no different. Independent studies and our own research suggest that the development could deliver at least 100 new jobs in the first ten years with many more in the supply chain across north Wales.

“Economic benefits don’t end there, and we’re committed to working with the education sector locally to improve skills and to make sure developers commit to creating apprenticeships both during construction and operation. Helping to create opportunities for young people to live and work locally is important to us at Menter Môn, and Morlais can certainly play a part in ensuring that we live up to this.”

“But the benefits aren’t just economic. Now more than ever we have to consider our impact on the planet and the environment. Both Westminster and Welsh governments have made it clear that carbon reduction is a priority. Tidal energy is low carbon, clean and reliable – our aim through Morlais is to play our part in tackling climate change and ensuring we leave a legacy that we’re proud of.”

Following the public enquiry, a decision is anticipated by Welsh Ministers on the proposals next summer. If all the necessary consents are given, construction on and operation will happen in phases. Work on land is expected to take place in 2021, with work offshore to start in 2023.

The project is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government and has also secured funding for consent and development from the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and the Isle of Anglesey County Council.

 

For further information please contact:

Llinos Iorwerth, Ateb: 01248 534200/ 07970 997124 llinos@atebcymru.wales

 

Notes to editors

  1. Menter Môn is a social enterprise which works across north Wales to deliver a range of regeneration, environmental and cultural projects for the benefit of local communities. By working in partnership with government, the third sector, business and individuals, Menter Môn attracts funding from different sources to add value and to contribute to creating a sustainable future.
  2. The Morlais zone was designated for tidal energy development by the Crown Estate in 2013. Menter Môn secured the lease to manage the zone in 2014. It is one of several sites identified by the Crown Estate across the UK in order to develop the tidal energy sector. More on the Morlais time line here.
  3. In order to get consent to develop and operate the Morlais demonstration zone, Menter Môn has applied to Welsh Government under the Transport and Works Act. An application has also been made to Natural Resources Wales Marine Licensing Team for a marine licence under the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009. The consent application was submitted in September 2019. Both processes will run in parallel with each other. The Public Inquiry is part of this process.
  4. For further information on the consenting process visit Planning Inspectorate Wales website – here.
  5. Morlais has attracted much support from local stakeholders and young people – click here for view short film (3 minutes).