• Tue. May 28th, 2024

North Wales tidal energy project probes local business opportunities

Business owners from north Wales have gathered at an event, at the Morlais Substation, Holyhead, to promote services to developers of tidal energy devices.

Dafydd Gruffydd with tidal energy technology developers at Morlais Substation for Catching the Tide event. Source: Menter Môn

Four of the companies that have secured their berths at the Anglesey tidal energy project run by Menter Môn shared insights and advice on opportunities and how local businesses could work with them.

They emphasized dedication to engaging local suppliers throughout the construction and deployment of their devices along the Ynys Môn coast, as the Morlais project progresses to its next stage, said Menter Môn.

Developers at Morlais’s “Catching the tide” event were: Hydrowing Inyanga Marine projects, Môr Energy QED Naval, Verdant Power, Magallanes Renovables, Tidal Technologies, and Minesto.

Geralt Llewelyn Jones has been the name behind the project since its start. At the event, he outlined his vision for Morlais and underscored the project’s focus on benefiting the local community from day one.

“Today was the culmination of several years’ hard work and it was fantastic to see so many local businesses gather at our substation to hear directly from the developers themselves, the range of opportunites that will become available here for them. We will be holding similar events in future, and I would encourage local companies to sign up and attend so they can get the support they need to win contracts linked to Morlais,” said Jones.

Simon Cheeseman, who leads the wave and tidal energy sector at the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult, moderated a panel discussion during the event. Afterward, he shared his reflections on the discussions held throughout the day.

“We know that tidal energy has strong potential for home grown businesses – they want to get involved. And it’s not just engineering opportunites – we’ve heard today the range of services, products and support that’ll be needed. As Morlais brings in investment, Holyhead as a harbour town will also benefit and we look forward to seeing a positive ripple effect across many sectors and industries,” said Cheeseman.

The upcoming supply chain event is scheduled for May 23, in Llangefni, followed by various engagement activities across north Wales in the coming months. 

Morlais is the largest consented tidal energy site in Europe. It provides developers with a reduced-risk model for deploying their technology on a commercial scale. The first phase of the Morlais project was funded by the European Regional Development fund through the Welsh Government.  

The project is phased to protect wildlife and habitats and will be developed gradually to a potential maximum generating capacity of 240 MW, according to Menter Môn. 

Back in February 2024, the £24 million substation for the Morlais tidal stream energy project was completed and delivered to the site owner Menter Môn Morlais.

Completing the substation means the project can move to the next phase as it prepares to deploy turbines in the sea in 2026.

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