Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay has submitted a plan to develop the world’s first tidal lagoon energy project in the UK. The company believes the project would provide renewable power for 120,000 homes for 120 years and would definitely boost a UK supply chain, create a new export market and plenty of jobs.
Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay will build a 6-mile (9.5 km) wall around Swansea Bay, which would create a lagoon in the Severn Estuary with turbines that could harness the incoming and outgoing tides to generate power 14 hours a day. The project includes creating a 10 km sea reef, the reintroduction of the native oyster to Swansea Bay and an offshore visitor center as well as national triathlon and water sports facilities. This energy plant will be able to generate as much as 10 per cent of the UK’s electricity from the tides by 2023.
The project will cost £750 million to £850 million, of which according to the company, 65 percent of expenditure will be in the UK, boosting a home grown supply chain and creating a possible future export market. According to the project developers, 86 per cent of local residents have supported this project. Besides, the Swansea Bay project would save 236,000 tonnes of carbon a year and create 1,850 construction jobs.
Mark Shorrock, chief executive of Tidal Lagoon Power said, “Until now, tidal energy has been heavily promoted by governments and environmentalists as an intuitive source of clean and reliable energy for our island nation, but the business response has focused on relatively small-scale tidal stream devices. Tidal lagoons offer renewable energy at nuclear scale and thus the investment of hundreds of millions of pounds in UK industries and coastal communities. Our intention is to supply 10 per cent of the UK’s domestic electricity by building at least five full-scale tidal lagoons in UK waters by 2023, before the UK sees any generation from new nuclear.”
The developers have submitted an application that will now be considered by the Planning Inspectorate. If the application is accepted, it will then be assessed with a final decision expected from the Energy Secretary and Natural Resources Wales in early 2015. If the go-ahead is given, construction could start next year, with the first power generated by 2018.
Source: Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay