Tidal stream energy company Orbital Marine Power (Orbital) has signed an agreement with Menter Môn to demonstrate its floating tidal technology as part of the Morlais tidal energy project.
Under the agreement, non-profit project developers Menter Môn will demonstrate a selection of Orbital’s newly unveiled ‘O2’ 2MW tidal turbines. Each 2MW tidal turbine has the capacity to generate the energy demands of 1,500 UK households.
Orbital 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 build out a new 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 in Anglesey’s waters.”
Menter Môn was first awarded rights to develop the Morlais site in 2014. In September 2015, the Morlais project secured 13.5MW of capacity with Scottish Power Energy Networks to be connected to its grid.
After environmental assessments have been completed, Morlais will submit an application for development consent next year.
Morlais director Gerallt Llywelyn Jones said: “This is great news for us and shows that there is confidence in what we are aiming to achieve in 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 in Anglesey through the project, by generating income that can be re-invested into our other development and job creation initiatives. Orbital’s floating tidal technology is designed around the use of locally based workboat vessels and service teams for all installation and maintenance requirements and we therefore believe they will be a great fit towards meeting our objectives.”
Money from the European Regional Development Fund given to the Welsh Government will partly finance the development of the floating tidal technology.
Welsh Assembly Member for Anglesey Rhun ap Iorwerth 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.”