Monitoring buoy for Morlais Zone (Courtesy of Menter Môn)

Morlais goes forward with environmental monitoring work

Morlais tidal energy project, managed by Menter Môn, is making preparations to welcome an environmental monitoring buoy to collect data related to the interaction of wildlife with tidal turbines.

Monitoring buoy for Morlais tidal energy zone (Courtesy of Menter Môn)
Monitoring buoy for Morlais Zone (Courtesy of Menter Môn)
Monitoring buoy for Morlais Zone (Courtesy of Menter Môn)

As part of the Marine Characterisation Research Project (MCRP), taking place in the Morlais Zone, a team of experts is working to develop an Environmental Monitoring and Mitigation Plan.

The aim is to gather valuable environmental research data which will support the development of Morlais tidal energy as well as other similar schemes worldwide.

This project, led by Menter Môn and part funded by the European Regional Development Fund through Welsh government, is an initiative which aims to ensure marine wildlife is safeguarded as tidal energy turbines are deployed in the zone.

To facilitate the gathering of this important data, the MCRP has commissioned an environmental monitoring buoy.

Over the coming weeks the buoy will be launched from Holyhead equipped with data collection technology, including surface infrared and red-green-blue (RGB) cameras, as well as underwater RGB cameras, and wind speed measurements.

The primary focus of this work is to trial visual data collection methods as well as to analyse the data gathered around deployed turbines. The project will also identify and help the team learn more about the mammals living in the area.

Findings will be key to the growth of tidal stream energy, as the data collected here on Anglesey will be made available for future marine renewable energy projects, according to Menter Môn.

“We will keep you updated on any progress and outcomes from this important research. We will also be updating our various stakeholder groups and the latest information will be available on our website,” Menter Môn informed.

In March 2022, the Morlais project – located offshore Anglesey in Wales – secured €37.6 million of funding in what is likely to be the last large grant from the EU’s regional funding program for the scheme.

The consented area for the installation and commercial demonstration of multiple arrays of tidal energy devices at Morlais will be suitable for a maximum installed capacity of 240MW.

Once fully operational, the Morlais scheme will be able to provide clean power for over 180,000 homes.

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