Tidal energy company Nova Innovation has got together with renewable energy company YnNi Llŷn to develop a tidal energy project at Bardsey Sound off the Llyn Peninsula in Wales.
The Crown Estate has awarded Nova Innovation an Agreement for Lease (AfL) for the project which will enable the company to start fully exploring the project’s potential through site surveys and studies in order to assess its technical feasibility. The company will also carry out a full Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) as part of the consenting process.
YnNi Llŷn will support Nova through the development of the project and will be exploring opportunities for local use of the electricity generated by the project. The AfL is the first stage in the process that will allow development activity and consent to formally start on the project. The full lease will be awarded only when all of the required consents have been secured.
The Crown Estate consulted with key stakeholders in the project, prior to the AfL being granted, as part of the leasing process. The statutory consenting process will now start with an extensive period of consultation with both local and national stakeholders. Nova and YnNi Llŷn have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which includes YnNi Llŷn supporting Nova with the development of the tidal project and Nova supporting YnNi Llŷn with the development of infrastructure that will enable the local use of energy.
A number of public exhibitions and workshops will be held where key stakeholders and other interested parties can provide feedback on the plans. Nova Innovation and YnNi Llŷn will be keeping the local community fully updated on the progress of the project, and will ensure that there is ample opportunity for input.
“This is an exciting opportunity for Nova and for Wales to show that tidal energy has a role to play in the UK’s energy mix and can help regenerate coastal communities” said Joseph Kidd, Commercial Manager, Nova Innovation. “The project will provide significant opportunities for the local supply chain and help support the economic development of the local area. Nova and YnNi Llŷn will be working together to make sure the local community is properly engaged, and that opportunities for maximising community benefit are fully explored.”
Brian Thomas, on behalf of YnNi Llŷn, added that the company welcomes the opportunity to engage in a leading edge development of this nature and to build on Nova Innovation’s existing track record in the field, as well as working with other industry experts within Welsh universities and other key stakeholders.
Nova Innovation has already established a presence in Wales at the Marine Energy Hub in Pembroke Dock and taken on experienced marine energy specialist Joseph Kidd to lead the company’s developments in the country. The company is now focussing on establishing an operational presence in North Wales and building a team to develop the project. It is also exploring ways in which local businesses can be involved in the project.
The assessment of the feasibility and viability of the project, along with the EIA, will take around a year to complete. Thereafter, a marine licence application will be submitted to the regulator, Marine Resources Wales. It typically takes a further year for the regulator to assess the application. During this period, the public will have the opportunity to formally comment on the proposals.
Image: A Nova Innovation sea turbine (Nova Innovation)