Black & Veatch hired for UK tidal energy project

Black & Veatch has won a design services contract for a tidal energy project in the UK.

The company will design cabling, substation, transformer and switchgear assets for the Morlais Demonstration Zone which is off the island of Anglesey in Wales.

Morlais is managed by Menter Mà´n, which leases areas of the seabed to developers for the construction of tidal arrays. “Tidal energy’s potential is significant, but the infrastructure is still developing,” said Robbie Gibson, Black & Veatch’s UK director for renewable energy. “Demonstration zone projects such as Morlais are crucial stepping stones in helping marine energy reach maturity and commercial viability.”

He added that Morlias has the potential to generate 240 MW of tidal energy. By sharing costs such as planning, environmental consents, and grid connectivity, the demonstration zone is designed to give developers a ‘de-risked’ environment in which to assess and optimise the array-scale performance and reliability of tidal generation technologies.

“The intermittent nature of wind and solar energy is a challenge to the uptake of renewable energy, but tides rise and fall every day. By helping de-risk the development of tidal energy, we are helping the UK establish a more reliable source of renewable energy,” Gibson added.

Gerallt Llewelyn Jones, a director with Morlais, said the project “is an important project for Menter Mà´n and the island of Anglesey. It has the potential to become one of the largest tidal stream energy sites in the world, bringing with it local economic and community benefits. We are pleased, therefore, to be working alongside Black & Veatch on the project. They have a wealth of experience in the sector and a reputation for innovation, and will certainly add value as our work progresses.”

Emerging renewable technologies will be a key focus of POWERGEN Europe in Paris later this year. 

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