Black & Veatch Gets Morlais Design Services Contract

Photo: Black & Veatch

Black & Veatch has been awarded the Morlais design services contract off the northwest tip of Anglesey, Wales.

Under the contract, the company will design the surface infrastructure connecting power generated by tidal arrays to the National Grid,  as well as other support to bring the project to construction tender phase.

The Morlais Demonstration Zone, managed by Menter Môn, will lease areas of the seabed to developers for the construction of tidal arrays.

“Tidal energy’s potential is significant, but the infrastructure is still developing. Demonstration zone projects such as Morlais are crucial stepping stones in helping marine energy reach maturity and commercial viability,” said Robbie Gibson, Black & Veatch’s director for renewable energy in the UK.

Morlias has the potential to generate 240 megawatts of tidal energy. By sharing costs such as planning and environmental consents, and grid connectivity, the demonstration zone gives developers a de-risked environment in which to assess and optimize 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: “Morlais is an important project for Menter Môn and the island. 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.”

The company’s Morlais role includes all of the engineering design required to bring the project to construction tender stage. This encompasses designing cabling, substation, transformer and switchgear assets needed to bring power from the seabed, across Anglesey, and to the local grid.

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