A MAJOR tidal project off Ynys Môn will benefit from £31million of, funding in what is likely to be the last large grant from the European Union (EU)’s regional funding programme.

Climate change minister Julie James confirmed the funding would be given to Menter Môn for the Morlais Infrastructure project.

The Morlais Infrastructure development aims to further the development of tidal power generation technologies by providing grid connectivity.

READ MORE: Menter Môn’s Morlais tidal energy scheme consents secured

Julie James said: “We want to establish Wales as the location of choice for tidal stream developers and the supply chain.

“The Welsh Government’s recent Deep Dive highlighted the need to take into account our energy needs and the needs of our ecosystems, the environment and needs of other sea users.

“We are looking to find a pathway for marine renewable developments, seeking win-win outcomes and supporting projects to contribute towards positive outcomes for marine biodiversity.

“We look to the industry to use this opportunity and work together to demonstrate the cost reductions and private investment that will help establish this clean, resilient and ethical power as a significant part of the global energy system.”

READ MORE: Menter Môn and Corre Energy hydrogen project gets six-figure government grant

Minister for North Wales Lesley Griffiths added: “This is excellent news; last year I visited Anglesey to hear more about the exciting plans for Morlais.

“Anglesey and north Wales as a whole are very well placed to play a key role in innovative low carbon energy generation which benefits local communities.

“The news today is further evidence of that. Not only will the project be a boost to future low carbon energy production but will also generate jobs and skills in the area.”

Minister for Economy, Vaughan Gething said: “There have been considerable opportunities for the marine energy sector through European Structural fund programmes.

“There is no doubt EU funds have been essential in supporting businesses to exploit the great potential of Wales’ wave and tidal resources, with a significant investment of £105m in Marine Energy projects in Wales.

“The Morlais Infrastructure project is key to unlocking the development of the tidal stream sector in north Wales, bringing a number of economic benefits to the region.

“With the construction and testing of devices and preparation of infrastructure, the project will attract further sector investment enabling the supply chain to grow and with it create higher-skilled jobs.”

The Crown Estate will invest a further £1.2m in the Morlais project, to support the delivery of its environmental monitoring and mitigation package – an essential step in safeguarding the marine environment and enabling the project to progress.

The work will monitor for interactions with sensitive species, as well as testing ongoing monitoring technologies.

It will be applicable to any tidal stream device deployed at the site and represents an important step in addressing significant evidence gaps and consenting challenges faced by the currently data poor tidal sector.

An advisory group is being established to oversee the development and delivery of the work.

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