Sian Crampsie

Three tidal stream turbine developers have agreed to deploy technology at the Morlais project in North Wales.

French firms Sabella and HydroQuest, and Spain’s Magallanes have signed deals with Menter Môn to install their tidal devices on a commercial scale at the Morlais site off the coast of Anglesey.

The move will provide the Morlais project with a “significant boost”, according to Menter Môn, the social enterprise behind the scheme, which has the potential to become one of the largest tidal stream energy sites in the world.

“We have been following Menter Môn’s work on the Morlais project since 2016 and are delighted now to be part of this ambitious project as a developer,” said Marlène Moutel of Sabella. “Anglesey’s waters have a great deal of tidal resource and Morlais will enable us to commercially deploy a pilot tidal array, a crucial step toward the development of the tidal industry.”

Sabella’s D10-1000 turbine was the first device of its kind to be connected to the French grid. With its 1 MW technology successfully demonstrated during sea trials since 2015, Sabella is currently targeting marine applications for remote grids with its range of modular products.

HydroQuest develops turbine technology for rivers and the sea and aims to deploy its flagship 1 MW tidal turbine OceanQuest in the Morlais zone.

The Magallanes project launched in 2009, in Galicia, Spain. Following the successful tests of its first commercial scale tidal platform carried on at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in the Orkney Islands, Magallanes is now aiming for larger scale deployment at Morlais.

Alejandro Marques is Chief Executive Officer of Magallanes, he said: “This is great news for us as a business and we are grateful to Menter Môn for their commitment. After many years of research and recent testing in Scotland we are now looking forward to being part of this exciting project in Wales which has the potential to become one of the largest tidal energy arrays in the world.”

Morlais is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh government. The project has the potential to scale up over time to generate up to 240 MW of electricity.