The idea of a multi-million pound green energy project featuring underwater kites capable of generating electricity off Holyhead looks set to fly.
In what could prove a major boost for the island’s economy consent has been given by Natural Resources Wales for a licence application to push forward marine energy technology developer Minesto’s Holyhead Deep marine project.
The licence will enable the installation of a single 0.5 MW device likened to an underwater kite ahead of plans to install several 10 MW devices, to be located 6.5kw off the coast of Holyhead – in an area identified as Holyhead Deep.
Ynys Mon MP Albert Owen said: “This is exciting news for Anglesey and a positive development that could see our Island become a global leader in marine tidal technology.
“I have long advocated a diverse mix of energy sources, with renewables such as Minesto’s project, playing an important part.
“It is important we have the skills and jobs in the area and that we benefit from the natural resources of our island, this bodes well for the future.”
Holyhead Mayor Ann Kennedy agreed saying: “We are supportive of this development and the opportunity of employment and new skills coming to the area.
Holyhead will be leading the way with this unique technology and it will complement other projects in the area'. Anglesey AM Rhun ap Iorweth, said: “I’m very pleased to hear that Minesto’s green tidal energy scheme in Holyhead Deep’s licence application has been successful.
“I’m confident that Minesto and their innovative underwater ‘kites’ will create a new industry that can employ locally and export globally. The seas that surround us can be a source of real economic growth in the coming decades when the world will be looking for more and better ways of producing clean, renewable energy. I look forward to seeing plans come into fruition.”
An in-depth Environmental Impact Assessment, carried out by subsea engineering consultants Xodus, considered the potential impact on fisheries, marine mammals, sea birds, marine archaeology and cultural heritage as well as shipping and navigation, which were concluded to be ‘non significant’.
James Monnington, lead environmental consultant at Xodus Group, said: “We look forward to working with the developer further as it seeks to roll out an array of devices to provide a robust alternative energy source for the UK.”
Xodus is supporting Minesto on a scoping report for the potential development of an 80 MW site, which would include up to 160 devices installed in phases.
Ylva Sörqvist Hultgren, site development manager at Minesto, said: “We are very pleased to have been awarded consent for our first installation of the deep green technology in Holyhead Deep. “This first step of implementing our unique technology in commercial scale is obviously an important one.”