A 3-week inquiry opens today into Menter Môn’s application to the Welsh Ministers for a Transport and Works Act Order for the construction of an offshore tidal stream device demonstration zone off the coast of Anglesey (the Morlais Demonstration Zone or “MDZ”). Tidal stream technology is a new addition to the renewable energy portfolio, still very much in its infancy. Uniquely, it has the potential to provide renewable base load energy. The Morlais Demonstration Zone aims to provide a ‘plug and play’ array for commercial developers to demonstrate their various device designs. If approved, it would be the only array of its kind in the world.
The MDZ, however, is located near an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, through which some of its onshore components run. The entire operation is close to or within a number of areas protected under the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations. The inquiry will also raise issues surrounding the compulsory acquisition of land, socio-economic impacts, the navigation of nearby waters, and the application of the Rochdale envelope to the incubation of new renewable technology.
Jacqueline Lean will appear for the RSPB.