Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon

Year:2019

Duration:4 years (projected)

Cost:£1.3bn

Country: UK

What did this project achieve?

Build a lagoon that uses water power to generate energy for homes

Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon is the world’s first energy generating tidal lagoon. The project offers a significant contribution to the UK’s industrial strategy, helping to solve the energy gap, deliver carbon savings and develop a world leading tidal energy industry.

Once built, it will provide clean energy for up to 155,000 homes. This could save up to 236,000 tonnes of carbon emissions each year. The lagoon will offer a boost to the local economy as well as providing protection again coastal erosion and the threat of flooding.

Difference the project has made

Conservation and biodiversity considerations are embedded in the proposal including new salt marshes, a lobster and oyster hatchery to support the reintroduction of the native oyster, as well as a marine aquaculture zone. Furthermore the project will protect against coastal erosion, coastal flooding and sea level rises.

The Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon is expected to become a major tourist attraction with around 100,000 visitors per year. It will host a variety of leisure, tourism, cultural and marine aquaculture ventures.

The lagoon seawall will be fully accessible for exercise, along with extensive public open space including a beach and rock pools.

It will also be open for a number of water sports such as rowing, sailing and canoeing and has been planned to support triathlon events, with a stunning boating centre and permanent access to the water.

Key to the project are proposals for an offshore visitor centre and university research facilities.

How it will be done

Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon pioneers the use of variable speed bulb turbines where flow through the turbine is regulated three ways: by having moveable guide vanes, variable pitch runner blades and variable speed.

This will allow the lagoon to extract half the potential energy available from the tides. These turbines also massively reduce potential injury to fish – by up to 90% for some species.

The project uses modular construction methodologies to reduce cost, time, emissions and waste while increasing quality and health & safety.

A fleet of six lagoons has an estimated 16,000MW installed capacity and 30TWh annual power output – capable of generating sufficient energy to supply c.8% of the UK’s annual electricity demand, sustaining 71,000 jobs at peak construction, with a potential value to industry of more than £70bn.

“​‌

Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon is quickly becoming more than just a symbol of the UK’s commitment to renewables – it marks a global energy future that can continue to be ’Made in Britain’.

Mark Elborne

President & CEO, GE UK & Ireland

Fascinating facts

First UK utility scale tidal power scheme

First in the world tidal lagoon scheme

First use of triple regulated hydro bulb turbines

People who will make it happen

  • Tidal Lagoon (Swansea Bay) Plc

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