The following is from an email recently sent to members of our mailing list.
We write to you on behalf of Ynni Llŷn, a small group of volunteers who have been working together for the last five years to better understand the use of energy in our locality and to advise and encourage more efficient use of that energy. We have also looked at opportunities to bring about various renewable energy projects in the area.
I trust that you will forgive us for contacting you directly but we have news we wish to share with you.
If you cast your mind back, you may recall that in 2013 we conducted an energy audit of a sample of the households and small businesses in the wards of Botwnnog, Tudeweilog and Aberdaron and Ynys Enlli, and you were kind enough to participate.
One of the interesting findings showed that as a small community we spend over £5 million annually on energy covering general electricity usage, heating and transport costs. At the same time, we also identified different potential sources of renewable energy, one of which was the potential use of underwater marine turbines deployed in Bardsey Sound.
We worked with Bangor University to quantify that resource in the form of a 3D hydrodynamic model of Bardsey Sound and that information was made publicly available. The study was also highlighted to tidal developers who might be interested in working with us on the development of such a project. In late 2016 The Crown Estate invited those developers who were interested to apply for an Agreement for Lease to carry out further feasibility work, environmental and community assessments and stakeholder consultation.
As a result, we now have agreed to work with a small company based in Edinburgh called Nova Innovation, to take this work further and to establish the feasibility of deploying an array of small 100kW turbines in Bardsey Sound. We will also be looking at creative ways in which we can utilise that power in a way that benefits the wider community whilst ensuring that it does not interfere with the sustainability of small businesses that are established here. We will be paying special attention to those businesses that could be impacted by such a development, especially our local fishermen.
During the next year, or more, we will be working closely with Nova to establish the feasibility and viability of the project, carry out a detailed environmental assessment, and undertake extensive stakeholder consultation. If, after all this work has been completed, and all the required consents are secured, the Agreement for Lease would then be converted to a full lease enabling the project to proceed.
We plan to consult with you and the local community on a regular basis along the way to keep you informed. We will be asking for assistance with the work that will emanate from such a project in the next few years as we conduct various environmental surveys both on land and sea and establish the potential feasibility of the whole project.
We are currently in the process of applying to the Welsh European Funding Office (WEFO) for funds for the early phases of the project; this is a complex and long winded process and we may not achieve our goal of obtaining funds but will keep you posted of our progress.
There is much work to do and as mentioned earlier we would welcome your feedback and would ask for your assistance as the project develops. We need to recognise that there will be different attitudes to these opportunities and we must think long and hard before taking any decisions and we must all remember to respect the opinions of those who might differ from our own.