Tidal power lagoon planned for Wales

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• The six-mile wall around Swansea Bay, complete with turbines, could generate electricity 14 hours a day and save 236,000 tonnes of carbon a year
• £750million project, along with four others could meet 10 per cent of the UK's electricity needs from the tides by 2023
• Developer Tidal Lagoon Power believes the project will boost a UK supply chain, create a new export market and plenty of jobs if it gets the go-ahead

According to the http://www.dailymail.co.uk Plans have been submitted to develop the world's first tidal lagoon energy project in the UK.

And the ground-breaking project could provide renewable power for 120,000 homes in Swansea, Wales for 120 years.

Developers behind the £750million to £850million Swansea Bay project believe it could be the first step in developing lagoon technology that could meet 10 per cent of the UK's electricity needs from the tides.

The scheme would involve a six-mile (9.5km) wall built 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.

If it gets the go-ahead, the lagoon could be the first of a series of five developments around the UK, coast which could generate as much as 10 per cent of the UK's electricity by 2023.

Tidal Lagoon Power, the company behind the project, said it hopes that 65 per cent of expenditure will be in the UK, boosting a home grown supply chain and creating a possible future export market.

The project includes creating a 10km sea reef, the reintroduction of the native oyster to Swansea Bay and an offshore visitor centre as well as national triathlon and water sports facilities.

According to the developers, research as part of the project's initial stages found that 86 per cent of local residents were in favour of the scheme.

The Swansea Bay project would save 236,000 tonnes of carbon a year and create 1,850 construction jobs.

Around 150 long-term jobs in operation and the leisure facilities would also be created in the area while the development would also boost jobs in the wider supply chain, the company 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, Mark Shorrock, chief executive of Tidal Lagoon Power said.

‘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.

‘Tidal lagoons offer renewable energy at nuclear scale and thus the investment of hundreds of millions of pounds in UK industries and coastal communities.’

He added: ‘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.’

It is believed that building more, larger lagoons would bring economies of scale.

The project would expect to benefit from subsidies levied on energy bills for clean power, but Mr Shorrock said a second lagoon would require a lower level of support than offshore wind.

A third lagoon, he suggested, would be competitive with the support received by new nuclear plants but without the decommissioning costs and safety concerns.

And other sites where lagoons are being considered, such as the Somerset coast, could have added benefits such as flood defences.

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, the company said.

The project is the latest plan to harness the huge tidal power of the Severn Estuary, after a separate scheme for a barrage across the estuary failed to win political support amid concerns that the economic and environment case for it did not stack up.