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Anglesey wants £40M energy investment to soften Wylfa blow

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Anglesey Council is seeking £40M from the Welsh and UK governments to fund energy projects on the island.

The council claims that funding for alternative projects is needed to make up for the suspension of work on the Wylfa nuclear plant.   

Anglesey Council leader Llinos Medi has asked the Welsh Government to provide £20M of additional investment for other energy projects and is asking the same of the UK government. 

The UK and Welsh governments have already committed £120M each for the North Wales Growth Deal. Medi claims the additional £40M fund is needed to fast track alternative energy schemes on the island including a tidal energy centre and a Nuclear Centre of Excellence. 

“A decision has been taken by the North Wales Economic Ambition Board that we would prioritise the projects coming to Anglesey because of the Wylfa Newydd developments,” Medi said.  

“We’re asking the Westminster Government for an additional £20M and the Welsh Government has already said it would match that.”  

Projects that could benefit from the £40M could include the proposed Morlais tidal energy centre and the proposed Nuclear Centre of Excellence. 

Medi added that the loss of Wylfa could threaten private investment in other projects in North Wales.  

“It’s important that we don’t slow down the progress of the growth bid because any slow-down could see us lose the private sector, which is ready to go on some of these projects.” 

The proposed £118M Nuclear Centre of Excellence is being led by Bangor University, and would focus on the development of small modular reactor technology and advanced modular reactors.   

The proposed West Anglesey Demonstration Zone is a tidal energy project led by Morlais and is estimated to have capacity for up to 240MW of tidal turbines. 

The two projects would add 300 permeant jobs to the region.  

Following the suspension of work on the Wylfa project in January, chancellor Philip Hammond said that the government was working on a new financing model to save the nuclear project. 

Despite the project’s suspension, work to complete the development consent order for the project is continuing so the project can restart quickly if a new financial plan is agreed.    

In the meantime, engineers from the site are being redeployed on other sites in the region.  

Image show tidal turbines in Scotland.

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