Welsh Government has given its consent to develop Anglesey tidal stream energy project, Morlais. This is the first part of the consenting process, which means construction can now begin on land in preparation for work offshore.
Morlais is run by Anglesey-based social enterprise, Menter Môn. The development will be located off the north west coast of Holy Island – generating clean electricity from one of the strongest tidal resource in Europe. The first of its kind in the UK, Morlais will have the potential capacity to power over 180,000 homes once it is fully operational.
Gerallt Llewelyn Jones is a Director with Morlais, he said: “We are delighted to have secured consent from Welsh Government to deliver Morlais. The decision today comes after many years of hard work and consultation, we’re now looking forward to moving to the next phase and to ensuring it can become a reality.
“From day one our aim has been to make sure that this project brings local economic benefits in terms of jobs, training and supply chain opportunites. Morlais is owned and run locally – this means we will ensure those benefits come right back into our local communities.”
Dafydd Gruffydd is Managing Director of Menter Môn, he added: “Morlais is an important project for us here on the island as well as the wider north Wales region. Not only will it secure long-term quality jobs and help develop local supply chains but it can also deliver training opportunities for our young people right here on their door step.
“The potential of Morlais isn’t just economic though – and we have become very aware of our impact on the planet. 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 approval by Welsh Government, a decision is now expected by Natural Resources Wales with regards to granting Morlais a Marine Licence which will allow turbines to be deployed in the sea. If granted, Morlais will work with its partners and tidal technology developers, to install devices to generate clean electricity.
Once all the necessary consents are in place, construction and operation will happen in phases to enable monitoring of impact on wildlife and habitat. Work on land is expected to begin early next year, with work offshore to start in 2023.
The project has secured the support of the Wales European Funding Office (WEFO), The Isle of Anglesey County Council, the North Wales Growth Deal, as well as The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority.