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Morlais developer secures guaranteed price for electricity

Gerallt Llewelyn Jones and Alejandro Marques

A turbine developer linked to Anglesey tidal energy project, Morlais has been awarded one of the Contracts for Difference (CfD) as part of UK Government recent renewable energy auction.

This is the first Wales-based project to secure a contract as part of this CfD allocation and gives developer, Magallanes a guaranteed revenue from the electricity it generates at Morlais. The award is seen as an endorsement for the project at a crucial time in its development, with onshore construction now well underway.

Gerallt Llewelyn Jones, a director with Morlais, said: “This is a significant step forward and paves the way for the first commercial deployment of tidal stream technology in Wales. It puts our scheme here on Anglesey on a firm footing as we move into the next phase of construction. This is also good news for the sector – it gives developers like Magallanes a guaranteed revenue stream and certainty around the future of tidal energy.”

The news means Magallanes is now in a strong position to work with the supply chain in Wales as they prepare to deploy their technology off the coast of Holy Island. The company with its headquarters in Galicia, Spain is already in conversation with local business and are committed to ensuring as much as possible of their spend remains local. This has been a key consideration for the team at Menter Môn and Morlais since the project was launched over 8 years ago.

Alejandro Marques, CEO of Magallanes added: “This award is excellent news for us at Magallanes and for Morlais – it gives us confidence as we work to bring our technology to Anglesey. This will be our first commercial deployment and we look forward to creating long term jobs and opportunites here in north west Wales.  The CfD guarantees £179 per megawatt for 15 years and will enable us to deliver 6MW of clean renewable power as part of Morlais.”

The CfD scheme was set up to provide government support to renewable energy sector in the UK. As well as providing developers such as Magallanes a guaranteed price for their electricity, it also recognises the importance of tidal stream as a predictable energy source. The next CfD Allocation Round is expected to be announced in March 2023 – with Morlais and colleagues in the sector eagerly awaiting those results in order to maximise tidal energy opportunites for Wales.

Morlais is the largest UK tidal energy development run by a social enterprise and once constructed it will see clean electricity generated off the coast of Anglesey. Since Menter Môn won the Crown Estate lease to manage the zone in 2014 – one of its key drivers has been securing local jobs and boosting the local economy.

The project is part funded by the European Regional Development fund through the Welsh Government.  The Isle of Anglesey County Council, North Wales Growth Deal, as well as The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority have also supported the project.