Marine Energy Wales

Home » Morlais tidal energy project appoints Black & Veatch as design consultant

Black & Veatch has been awarded the Morlais Design Services Contract. This role mainly includes designing the surface infrastructure connecting power generated by tidal arrays to the National Grid; as well as other support to bring the project to construction tender phase.

The Morlais Demonstration Zone – off the northwest tip of Anglesey, Wales – is managed by Menter Môn; which will lease areas of the seabed to developers for the construction of tidal arrays. “Tidal energy’s potential is significant, but the infrastructure is still developing. Demonstration zone projects such as Morlais are crucial stepping stones in helping marine energy reach maturity and commercial viability,” commented Robbie Gibson, Black & Veatch’s director for renewable energy in the UK.

Morlias has the potential to generate 240 megawatts of tidal energy. By sharing costs such as planning and environmental consents, and grid connectivity, the demonstration zone gives developers a de-risked environment in which to assess and optimise the array-scale performance and reliability of tidal generation technologies.

“The intermittent nature of wind and solar energy is a challenge to the uptake of renewable energy, but tides rise and fall every day. By helping de-risk the development of tidal energy, we are helping the UK establish a more reliable source of renewable energy,” Gibson added.

Gerallt Llewelyn Jones, a Director with Morlais, he added: “Morlais is an important project for Menter Môn and the island. It has the potential to become one of the largest tidal stream energy sites in the world, bringing with it local economic and community benefits. We are pleased, therefore, to be working alongside Black & Veatch on the project, they have a wealth of experience in the sector and a reputation for innovation, and will certainly add value as our work progresses.”

The value Black & Veatch’s growing team of renewable energy consultants will bring to Morlais includes experience gained from the company’s project management and technical advisor roles in the Energy Technologies Institute’s Tidal Energy Converter programme; and their support for the MeyGen Tidal Array – the largest in the UK.

The company’s Morlais role includes all of the engineering design required to bring the project to construction tender stage. This encompasses designing cabling, substation, transformer and switchgear assets needed to bring power from the seabed, across Anglesey, and to the local grid.