Plans Submitted for £850m Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon Project
Plans have been submitted for a £850m six-mile long tidal lagoon project in Swansea Bay that could create 1,850 jobs during the two-year construction phase. There would also be 60 long-term operational jobs with up to another 90 linked to visitor spending and it is hoped it could be operating by 2018. It would also be capable of providing power for 120,000 homes for 120 years. Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay aims to build the U-shaped seawall, which will run from Swansea docks to near Swansea University’s new Fabian Way campus. The project also includes an oyster-shaped offshore visitor centre and national triathlon and water sports facilities.
The project promoters have already signed up a team of Costain, Atkins, and Van Oord to design, build and deliver the scheme. They aim to source at least 65% of content in the UK, kick-starting a new manufacturing industry and future export market. After three years of feasibility work and impact assessments, TLP submitted its 5,000-page application for a development consent order. Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon project, which would be the largest tidal power plant in the world, will now be reviewed by the Planning Inspectorate before public examination.
Mark Shorrock, CEO of Tidal Lagoon Power, said that the submission of the application marks a turning point in the development of the UK’s tidal resource. “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. “The UK has the second highest tidal range in the world and today we are submitting an application for a development that will prove that this resource can be harnessed in a way that makes economic, environmental and social sense.”
He added: “Our intention is to supply 10% 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. He said that economies of scale bring immediate advantage. “A second lagoon will require a lower level of support than offshore wind, for a renewable power supply that is both long-lived and certain. A third lagoon will be competitive with the support received by new nuclear, but comes without the decommissioning costs and safety concerns.”