The DG Holyhead Deep Project will be the first full-scale deployment of Minesto’s tidal energy concept, Deep Green, which uses underwater ‘kites’ to generate electricity. Deep Green’s ability to operate in deep water sites and low velocity currents will open up new areas to tidal energy projects and it is expected to provide significant advantages over fixed turbine technologies in terms of efficiency and operational costs. The Project will pave the way for the first full-scale commercial deployment, representing an important step towards Wales fulfilling its potential to become a world leader in marine renewable energy.
Minesto was founded in 2007 for the purpose of developing the Deep Green technology. The company’s headquarters are located in Gothenburg, Sweden, our prototype testing facility is in Portaferry, Northern Ireland, and we recently opened our UK headquarters in Holyhead, Anglesey. To date, our work has focused on developing the Deep Green technology and demonstrating its viability through basin tests and field trials in Strangford Lough, Northern Ireland, using 1:10 and 1:4 scale devices. The next step is to deploy a full scale device. Following a comprehensive site selection study, the Holyhead Deep in North Wales was selected as the ideal location to deploy the Project, providing deep water and favourable tidal conditions in close proximity to port facilities and viable grid connection options for the future. An additional benefit is the potential for sharing future project infrastructure with Morlais Marine Energy, who are developing the West of Anglesey Tidal Demonstration Zone, increasing cost efficiency whilst minimising the combined environmental footprint of the projects.
This Environmental Statement is the result of nearly two years’ multi-disciplinary environmental research and stakeholder consultation. We are highly aware of the special character of the marine environment in North Wales and the responsibility we have to preserve it. We hope that this is clearly demonstrated through the approach with which we have carried out the research, consultation and project design that contributed to the environmental impact assessment.
It is our intention to be transparent and communicative in all of our work, and we are committed to maintaining effective dialogue with all interested parties. Thus far, we have consulted with a wide range of stakeholder groups and organisations and have incorporated their concerns and observations when making project decisions. In our view, consultation is an ongoing process which we will continue after the submission of the application throughout the duration of the Project, should we obtain consent.
The submission of this document is a critical step for the Project, and we welcome the opportunity it provides for all interested parties to take part in the decision making process. Should consent for the Project be granted, it will represent a significant milestone in the journey towards the marine renewable energy and with it, the opportunity to create a prosperous and sustainable industry in Wales.
The predicted positive impacts of marine renewables to the Welsh and UK economy is significant with an estimated 19,500 jobs being created by 2035 and associated revenue generation estimated at £6.1 billion. In recognition of the significant potential of the Project to positively impact the socio-economic landscape of the region, the Welsh European Funding Office has publicly pledged to award Minesto £9.5 million of European Union funds to help make a positive impact on North Wales through clean energy generation, job creation and economic growth. We will continue our work with regional development organisations such as Mentor Môn, and the North Wales supply chain, in order to attract inward investment and diversify the existing skills base.
Delivering this Project so it does not affect the integrity of the environment, fully complies with all environmental obligations, and capitalises on the opportunity to confer economic benefits to the region is a fundamental priority to Minesto. We hope that on consideration of this document, you will agree that we have a sound understanding of what is required to achieve these goals, and look forward to continuing our dialogue with all interested parties.