Marine Energy Wales has welcomed today’s announcement that four tidal stream projects based in Welsh waters, have been given the green light to provide electricity to the National Grid, as part of the latest round (allocation round 5) of the UK Government’s renewable auction. Over 22MW of tidal stream capacity has been contracted in Wales.
- Hydrowing secured 10MW
- Verdant secured 4.9MW
- MOR Energy secured 4.5MW
- Magallanes secured 3MW
All four projects will be deployed at Morlais Tidal Demonstration Zone in Anglesey. Run by social enterprise Menter Mon, the consented 35 km2
A further 30MW of tidal stream projects secured contracts in Scotland.
Photo Credit - Verdant Power
Tidal stream technology, which produces energy from tidal currents, is predictable and consistent. It has already delivered over 70GWh of electricity to the grid – that’s enough to power more than 25,000 households for a whole year.
Tom Hill, Marine Energy Wales Programme Manager, welcomed today’s announcement:
“This is hugely exciting news for the UK’s offshore renewable energy sector as a whole and a significant step forward for tidal stream technology. These contracts are vital, helping to accelerate the industry by providing a route to commercialisation for developers, and ultimately leading the UK into a low carbon, energy secure future. The projects agreed a strike price of £198/MWh, which is a great result and provides much needed confidence to developers.
Today’s announcement brings with it renewed optimism for the future of tidal energy in Wales. It is vital now that UK Government continues to support tidal stream technologies and the renewable energy sector, ensuring that Wales and the rest of the UK is not left behind.
We want to see more incentives from UK Government for marine energy developers to use local Welsh supply chains, which in turn will create high-paid skilled jobs and maximise the economic benefits of this hugely important industry.
Marine renewable energy has a critical role to play if we are to succeed in decarbonising the energy sector and achieve Net Zero by 2050, and Wales has the potential to take centre stage.”
Marine Energy Wales is calling for:
- The tidal stream ringfence to be maintained in future auction rounds.
- An increase in the ringfence from £10 million to £20 million to ensure more developers can progress.
- Contracts to include enforceable ‘local content’ requirements to maximise local benefits to Wales and the UK.
- More long-term visibility of what the funding allocation might look like in future years to provide more confidence and a greater sense of certainty for project pipelines.
This is great news for us at Morlais and for the tidal energy sector in Wales. It is a major step forward and paves the way for commercial deployment of tidal stream technology in Wales. By working with the developers we now have the potential to attract over £50 million of investment to the area and create significant local job opportunities, this has always been central to our plans for the project.Gerallt Llewelyn Jones, a director with Morlais