Despite stumbling blocks seemingly cropping up everywhere for the projects over the past couple of weeks, it seems like the idea of turning Anglesey into “Energy Island” is still moving in the right direction.
Plans have been in place for a long time to build around the developments of Wylfa Newydd and the continuing wind, biomass, wind and solar power after it emerged that Anglesey was faltering dramatically in the UK’s GDP list in last place. The Isle of Anglesey Council shortly afterwards set up The Energy Island programme to bring in an estimated £25billion to the North Wales and Anglesey economy.
There had been fears that two recently scuppered projects in close relation to the scheme could be the end of this intriguing project in North Wales but Energy Island Programme Director, Dr John Idris Jones, moved quickly to abate any worries.
“The loss of the tidal project and the wind farm is disappointing but does not stop the overall strategy for Energy Island”, he said.
“The reality is that there are three things these energy projects require, consent, grid connection and finance.
“There will never be a situation where every project on Anglesey will happen, some will succeed and others will not.
“These are market led projects and while at the moment these projects are not happening it does not mean that they won’t happen in the future as these emerging technologies develop.
“We will have disappointments like this in the future but overall there are more projects emerging than are falling down.”
— Owen Hughes (@DPBusinessWales) September 10, 2014
The projects in question were the Rhiannon Windfarm in the Irish Sea which was brought to an end by Celtic Array Ltd and Skerries Tial Array which has been suspended by Marine Current Turbines and Siemens. Both of these were reportedly going to be a major boon for Energy Island as it would bring in millions for the local economy.
Cllr Ieuan Williams, leader Anglesey County Council said, “Naturally we are disappointed that Marine Current Turbines and Siemens have decided to put their plans for the Skerries Tidal Energy Farm on hold for the time being.
“Unfortunately this is the nature of the energy sector. However, we still support the aim of the Energy Island Programme, which is to put Anglesey at the forefront of energy research and development, production and servicing, bringing with it potentially huge economic rewards.
“For example, we support Menter Môn and its Morlais Project, which aims to reduce barriers for marine technology developers, and support the generation of 120mw of energy.”