Tidal energy developer Nova Innovation has teamed up with regional renewable energy organisation YnNi Llŷn to develop a tidal energy project at Bardsey Sound (Ynys Enlli) off the Llyn Peninsula in north Wales.

The Crown Estate has granted rights to Nova Innovation Limited to deploy a 2MW array of tidal turbines at Bardsey Sound, Gwynedd.   

The rights being granted at this stage are for an Agreement for Lease (AFL) only, in order for the developer to carry out an assessment of the site and commence consenting activities.  A Lease for development rights will not be awarded until all of the necessary permissions are secured.

The AfL is the first stage in the process that will allow development activity and consenting to formally start on the project. The full Lease will be awarded only once all of the required consents have been secured.

Public consultation

Prior to the AfL being granted, The Crown Estate consulted with key stakeholders as part of their leasing process, and the statutory consenting process that will now start will involve an extensive period of consultation with both local and national stakeholders.

An application for development consent will need to be submitted to the relevant authorities (in this case, Natural Resources Wales is the regulating body). As part of the consenting process, the developer will need to undertake all statutorily required consultation with relevant stakeholders to assess the potential impact of the proposed development.

A number of public exhibitions and workshops will take place where key stakeholders and interested parties can provide feedback on the plans. Nova Innovation and YnNi Llŷn will be keeping the local community fully updated on the progress of the project, and will ensure that there is ample opportunity for input.

Project timeframe

It is anticipated that the assessment of the feasibility and viability of the project, as well as the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) will take approximately one year to complete.

Once all of the assessments are completed, a marine licence application will be submitted to the regulator, Marine Resources Wales. It typically takes a further year for the regulator to assess the application and make a decision. During this period, the RYA and members of the public will have the opportunity to formally comment on the proposals.

Our position

As a member of the Nautical and Offshore Renewable Energy Liaison (NOREL) group, the RYA works to ensure that the commercial and recreational shipping and ports industries successfully co-exist with the offshore renewable energy industries.

We continue to regularly monitor the developments in tidal energy technologies, as well as the seabed areas leased by The Crown Estate, and assessing their potential impact on recreational boating. We meet regularly with the developers involved to discuss recreational navigational safety and respond to national consultations on behalf of recreational boating.

Learn more about our work in the RYA Current Affairs hub.