Morlais is the first project win for SABELLA and Nova Innovation (Nova) after they announced in June 2021 that they will be working together on tidal energy site development. Each company will develop 6MW in the 12MW berth, which covers an area of 0.65 square kilometres. A 12MW tidal turbine site could power up to 10,000 homes a year.
Both tidal turbines from SABELLA and Nova sit on the seabed and are completely submerged, with no visual impact on the landscape. The technologies produce clean, predictable energy and work in harmony with nature as marine life can freely move around them.
Simon Forrest, CEO of Nova Innovation, added: “Nova is delighted to be expanding in Wales and the Morlais win is testament to the hard work of our team in Wales over the years. The Morlais project provides a fantastic opportunity for SABELLA and Nova to scale up and help drive Wales’s net-zero targets.”
The Morlais tidal energy zone covers an area of 35 square kilometres in the sea. Menter Môn is responsible for managing the site and awarding the berths. The 240MW site was awarded consents for development from the Welsh Government in December 2021. Natural Resources Wales has granted a marine licence that will allow tidal turbines to be installed. Construction and operation of the project will take place in phases to allow for environmental monitoring of wildlife and habitat.
Julie James, climate change minister for the Welsh Government, said: “I welcome the news of Nova Innovation and SABELLA’s plans for expansion through the Morlais project and that it will bring highly-skilled jobs to north Wales. There is an abundance of marine resources in Wales which we need to harness in a sustainable way if we are to move towards a low carbon economy.
“We have invested heavily in a range of projects, with EU support, both in the marine energy sector and in low-carbon developments that can make an important contribution to our renewable energy targets.”
SABELLA and Nova Innovation have already started surveys at Morlais and they are looking to install their first turbines in 2023/24.
Karen Jones, a director at Morlais, said: “We are delighted to be working with Nova and SABELLA and look forward to developing a long-term relationship with this partnership, which will no doubt bring both economic benefits to the local area, as well as playing an important role as we all strive to reduce carbon and reach net-zero targets.”
SABELLA and Nova are looking to build on this initial project by combining expertise and developing other tidal energy sites in the UK and France.