Nova Innovation has secured £1.2 million in backing from the Welsh Government for its Enlli tidal energy project in north Wales.
The funding, which has been allocated through the European Regional Development Fund, will go towards supporting the environmental consenting and engineering design work for the “ground-breaking” project.
The Enlli project will use the natural ebb and flow of the tide between Ynys Enlli, which translates to ‘The Island in the Currents’, and the mainland to generate electricity.
It could help locals switch from a dependency on diesel generation to become the world’s first blue energy island
Edinburgh-headquartered Nova plans to install five 100 kilowatt turbines on the seabed, with a view to installing more in the future.
The turbines will be completely hidden below the surface of the water and previous studies have not detected and negative impacts on marine wildlife.
Nova is also behind the Shetland Tidal Array project in Bluemull Sound in the far north of Scotland which aims to increase the commercial viability of tidal power
Lesley Griffiths, the Welsh Government Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs, said: “As Wales looks to respond to the challenges posed by the climate emergency, we need to harness the ambition and innovative spirit of renewable energy providers like Nova, ensuring that their expertise and experience can be put to good use in Wales.
“As such, I am very pleased that we have been able to support Nova in their Ynys Enlli tidal energy project. Wales was at the leading edge of the first industrial revolution and through projects like these we can play a leading role in the green industrial revolution taking place today.”
Simon Forrest, Nova’s chief executive officer said: “Harnessing the immense, natural power of the tides in Swnt Enlli (Bardsey Sound) will provide clean ocean energy for the local community and help regenerate the local economy. Our tidal turbines have been powering the Shetland grid for over four years and we are very excited about helping drive the blue economy in north Wales.”
Jess Hooper from Marine Energy Wales added: “This is yet another boost for the marine energy sector in Wales, and helps us deepen our Celtic connections as this project draws on expertise and learning from the world’s first offshore tidal array – three tried, tested and monitored turbines installed in the Shetland Islands, Scotland.
“Transferring this knowledge and experience to North Wales will have far reaching benefits, for communities, business, the sector and, crucially, for wider action on climate change. Following on from Wales’ Climate Week, it’s great to see the blue economy contributing to the green recovery with action translating to real progress in Wales’ bid to achieve net-zero.”