Economy and Infrastructure Secretary, Ken Skates has announced £4.5 million of EU and Welsh Government funds to help boost the marine and tidal energy sector in North Wales.
The funding will support Menter Môn’s £5.6m Morlais scheme which will help accelerate the development and commercialisation of multiple tidal stream technologies in the Morlais Demonstration Zone in Anglesey. This will be situated in one of the designated Anglesey Enterprise Zone sites.
The Economy Secretary announced the funding this Monday from a UK wide event on marine and tidal energy, held in Cardiff.
“The energy generated from wave and tidal flows can play a major role in delivering our ambitions for a Welsh low carbon economy as well as creating sustainable jobs and growth.
“Wales’ coastline means we are well positioned to take advantage of the opportunities presented by the blue economy, which is why the Welsh Government is committed to supporting the creation of new tidal demonstration zones that will help industry develop and test new and innovative tidal and wave technologies for commercial success.
“We have already invested EU funds towards a feasibility study for a demonstration zone off the Pembrokeshire coast and today I am pleased to announce £4.2m of EU funds and a further £300,000 from the Welsh Government to support preparatory and consent work on the Morlais demonstration zone in Anglesey.
“Once up and running, the fully consented area of seabed will be able to support at least 20MW of grid connection capacity, but with potential for 193.5MW, to enable developers to deploy and test multiple tidal energy technologies.
“Over the next 5 to 10 years we have a real window of opportunity to develop and grow Wales’ marine energy industry. This funding will provide yet another push to drive our ambitions forward.”
Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs said, “Wales’ coastline has the second highest tidal range in the world and provides an ideal environment to test and develop emerging tidal energy technologies. We are keen to promote their potential role in renewable energy generation, supporting a prosperous low carbon future for Wales. Menter Mon’s success in managing the Demonstration Zone originates in an early community energy project supported under Ynni’r Fro. Today’s announcement is a fantastic boost to the sector and the area, showing the difference clean energy makes to Wales.”
Gerallt Llewelyn Jones on behalf of Menter Môn said: “This is very good news. Menter Môn has worked hard to achieve this important milestone for Anglesey and North Wales. It is critical that we position ourselves at the centre of global developments in marine renewable energy, a known growth sector with substantial employment potential.”