A SCOTTISH leader in the renewable energy sector has teamed up with a regional organisation to develop a tidal energy project off the Llyn Peninsula in north Wales.

Edinburgh-based Nova Innovation has been awarded an Agreement for Lease (AfL) for the initiative which enables the company to start exploration of its potential through site surveys and studies on the technical feasibility of the project at Bardsey Sound (Ynys Enlli).

It will also carry out a full Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and will be supported by YnNi Llyn through the development of the project, as well as exploring the options for local use of the electricity generated by it.

The AfL is the first stage in the process that will allow development activity and consenting to formally start.

Nova and YnNi Llyn have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which includes YnNi Llyn supporting Nova with development of the tidal project, and Nova supporting it with the development of infrastructure to enable local use of the energy. Public exhibitions and workshops will be held to allow key stakeholders and interested parties to provide feedback on the plans.

Nova Innovation’s commercial manager, Joseph Kidd, said: “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.

“The project will provide significant opportunities for the local supply chain and help support the economic development of the local area. Nova and YnNi Llyn 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, for YnNi Llyn, said: “We welcome this exciting opportunity to engage in a leading-edge development of this nature and to build on Nova Innovation’s existing track record in the field. We also look forward to working closely with other industry experts within our Welsh universities, and with other key stakeholders in order to maximise the benefits of this project to the local area and its economy and most importantly its people.”

This is essentially a viability study, and it is therefore difficult to attach figures to the narrative, but Nova said it is committed to the local supply chain. In a €20 million (£17.5m) project announced earlier this month at Bluemull Sound, Shetland Nova is heading a consortium of nine leading industrial, academic and research organisations from across Europe.

David Jones, project director of Marine Energy Wales, added: “Marine energy has created over 100 direct jobs across Wales in the last two years, supporting supply chain resilience, clustering and our peripheral economies.

With significant natural resources alongside funding and government support, Wales is beginning to play a leading role in a growing low-carbon sector, which fits perfectly into the UK’s Industrial Strategy.”