World’s Largest Tidal Power Plant Could Come to Swansea

A recent planning application submitted by Tidal Lagoon Power could see the world’s largest tidal power plant being built in Swansea Bay. The firm is seeking a development consent order to build a 9.5km U-shaped sea wall to generate renewable energy from the incoming and outgoing tides in the bay. 

Called the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon, the £850m project could generate enough electricity to power more than 120,000 homes for up to 120 years. Its construction phase could create up to 1,850 jobs, whilst a further 60 could be made permanent once the power plant is operational. There is also potential for another 90 jobs in visitor-related roles.

CEO of Tidal Lagoon Power, Mark Shorrock, comments: ‘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% 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 project has already received its first green light as the Planning Inspectorate has launched a consultation process to gather public views on the new power plant. If all goes well, there will be a further three years of feasibility studies and impact assessments before construction starts on the first lagoon, which could be up and running in 2018.

Wilding says: It’s great to see the tidal energy sector take a leap forward with a project that could ultimately rival the place of nuclear power in our generation mix. Let’s hope the public responds positively to this unique opportunity to produce large amounts of clean, safe energy that could keep going for well over a century.’

Sources: BBC and Energy Business Review