The North Wales Growth Deal has taken a significant step forward this week as partners formally approve the five programmes that make up the £240 million Deal.
Anglesey tidal energy project, Morlais, could be among those first projects to benefit. Subject to approval from Welsh Ministers the project is set to get underway as soon as 2021, bringing major economic opportunities to the island.
Morlais is run by Anglesey social enterprise, Menter Môn, with its key aim to ensure benefits to local communities.
Gerallt Llewelyn Jones, a director with Morlais welcomes the announcement. He said: “This really is good news and a potential significant boost to our efforts to secure funding to make the project a reality. Subject to our business case, Morlais could receive £9m from the Deal which will be a match to unlock a further £26m from the Wales European Funding Office (WEFO).
“Ensuring local benefit is the most important driver behind Morlais. It has the potential to create at least 100 new jobs in the first ten years, with many more in the supply chain across north Wales. Much work remains to be done, but the agreement could go a long way to making sure we can bring this plan to fruition. We’re grateful to the support we’ve had so far from government in Cardiff and London as well as our partners across many sectors.
“An important aspect of the Growth Deal is ensuring we can build a sustainable economy, this is especially true as we face the challenge of rebuilding after COVID19. With increased focus on tackling climate change – both Westminster and Welsh governments have made it clear that carbon reduction is a priority. Tidal energy is low carbon and reliable, and our aim with Morlais is to play our part in generating clean electricity and using our resources wisely.”
If all the necessary consents are given to develop Morlais, construction and operation will happen in phases. Work on land is expected to start in 2021, and work offshore 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.
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Notes to editors
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 Morlais proposal is to develop the necessary infrastructure off the coast of Anglesey to enable tidal stream technology to generate electricity. It will provide a consented tidal technology demonstration zone specifically designed for the installation, testing and commercial demonstration of tidal energy devices as well as providing a route to the distribution network. Morlais has the potential to scale-up over time to a generating capacity of 240MW of electricity – this is estimated to be enough for around 180,000 typical households. The project will be delivered in phases and it will take many years to reach full capacity.