Future Energy

18 Aug 2020

Marine Energy Wales Backs Morlais Tidal Demo Zone

18 Aug 2020  by RE News   

Marine Energy Wales (MEW) said it supports the Morlais tidal demonstration project’s “phased approach” to deploying devices in the test zone.

The demonstration is carrying out a targeted environmental monitoring programme designed to “identify and mitigate” adverse impacts on the marine environment and other users of the sea.

The first stage of Morlais, which is run by social enterprise Menter Mon, aims to secure consent for the development of the zone.

The second stage will put the necessary infrastructure in place so that developers, including the three new partners can implement devices at the site.

MEW is the secretariat of a Welsh consenting strategic advisory group, which brings together experienced representatives of the marine energy industry, environmental NGOs, including the RSPB and The Wildlife Trust, the regulator Natural Resources Wales and Welsh Government.

The group said it provides a forum to discuss regulatory and environmental issues, concerns and risks and works collaboratively to “identify solutions and opportunities to improve consenting for wave and tidal stream projects in Wales”.

The group is working to identify the “key environmental evidence gaps” that need addressing to ensure that the development of wave and tidal energy in Wales does not irreversibly harm Welsh marine wildlife.

MEW programme manager Jessica Hooper said: “As an organisation we have confidence in Morlais and the planning process to deliver low carbon electricity in a sustainable way.

“Marine renewable energy offers Wales a great opportunity to alleviate the impacts of climate change, support the blue economy’s contribution to a green recovery and create high quality jobs in coastal communities.

“We believe this can all be achieved in harmony with Wales’ marine natural environment”.

French company Sabella has already connected the D10-1000 turbine (pictured) to the French grid and, with the 1MW technology successfully demonstrated during sea trials since 2015, the company is targeting marine applications for remote grids with its range of modular products.

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