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Swansea tidal lagoon scheme heads out for consultation

Plans for a “world first” tidal power lagoon in Swansea Bay with the potential for generating electricity equivalent to the city’s entire domestic energy demand have gone out to public consultation.

Project promoter Tidal Lagoon Power has formed a partnership with contractors Costain and Van Oord along with consultant Akins to develop the £650M scheme.

Costain will coordinate and manage delivery of the project.

Work involves developing and managing the schedule for the pre-construction and construction phases and developing construction methodology for civil engineering works.

These include turbine and sluice structures, access routes and complex temporary works including a temporary bund to enable the construction of turbine housing.

Atkins has been working with Tidal Lagoon Power for 18 months to examine the feasibility of the overall project and has now been commissioned to provide engineering design and geotechnical expertise.

This includes designing the turbine house and the innovative breakwater bund wall, which uses a combination of giant tubular sand bags protected with armour made up of different sized rocks. The consultant will also investigate seabed geology.

Van Oord is to develop a construction methodology suitable for the harsh offshore conditions in the Swansea Bay.

“Our vision is to deliver 10GW of power from the tidal range in the UK and thus change the energy mix to home-grown, low carbon energy that creates local jobs, cheap power and local long term amenities for the communities who host the lagoons,” said Tidal Lagoon Power technical director Ton Fijen.

“We know that there is an available 10GW of potential sites in the UK alone that are suitable for tidal lagoon development.

“The Swansea project will hopefully be the first in a network of lagoons around the UK coastline, driving a critical change in our energy mix with low cost, low carbon electricity sources that are sustainable, long-term.”

“Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon will be the world’s first, purpose-built, tidal lagoon power plant, and will be capable of generating electricity equivalent to Swansea’s entire domestic consumption,” said Costain infrastructure managing director Darren James.

“Importantly, the proposed 250MW power plant will reduce emissions by 200,000t of CO2 per year for its design life of over 100 years.

“This project gives Wales a significant opportunity to take the lead in the tidal industry for the UK and we look forward to working with the team to develop what will hopefully be a network of lagoons around the UK coastline.”

The developer hopes to submit an application for development consent to the Planning Inspectorate in the late autumn of 2013.

Barrage scheme could generate enough electricty to power the city.

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