'Energy Island' plan to create jobs on Anglesey

Image caption,
The Energy Island project will explore the benefits of windfarms

Anglesey is to be promoted as an "energy island" in an attempt to attract jobs and investment.

First Minister Carwyn Jones had been due to launch the project to showcase the island as a hub for renewable energy generation, but had to cancel his attendance when he fell ill.

The initiative explores how wind, tidal and biomass energy could be provided.

It is hoped it will bring £2.3bn to the region over 15 years.

Anglesey council's Energy Island Programme will focus on bringing high skilled jobs to the area from major energy investments, establishing a "world renowned centre of excellence".

These would include a possible new power station at Wylfa, along with offshore wind farm developments by Centrica and RWE.

It is understood building work on energy-related projects could bring in up to 5,000 new jobs, while a further 2,500 operational jobs could also be delivered by 2025.

Sasha Wynn Davies, the council's head of economic development and the director of the Energy Island Programme, said it could bring "major economic, social and environmental benefits for Anglesey and the wider region".

"A recent study found that potential Energy Island projects could contribute £2.34bn to the Anglesey and north west Wales economy over the next 15 years," he said.

Council leader Clive McGregor said: "Investment in new energy ventures holds the key to boosting the Anglesey and the north west Wales economy."

Image caption,
A new nuclear power station could replace Wylfa

Mr Jones said: "This framework will create opportunities for Anglesey to benefit from a range of energy-related projects, potentially attracting considerable new investment to the island and creating high quality employment."

In March, it was announced that the UK's next nuclear power plant could be built on Anglesey by 2020.

Horizon Nuclear Power said it would apply for planning consent in 2012 to build a reactor on the island to produce up to 3,300Mw of electricity.

Wylfa, the existing nuclear plant, will be decommissioned in December.

Alan Raymant, chief operating officer at Horizon Nuclear Power, said it was "delighted" to be part of the programme.

"Our goal is a development that is acceptable to the community, and develops the skills base in Anglesey and north west Wales to bring economic benefits for generations to come," he said.

"The focus and resolve demonstrated by this initiative is exactly what we need to help deliver that."

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