The firm behind the “world’s first” tidal lagoon at Swansea Bay in Wales has signed a memorandum of understanding with a manufacturer of hydroelectricity equipment, as construction of the project edges closer.
Tidal Lagoon Power is partnering with engineering firm Alstom to design and build the 300 megawatt (MW) power plant, which it hopes will be ready to generate power in 2017.
Steve Burgin, vice-president of sales in northern and central Europe for Alstom’s power generation division, confirmed that the pair had agreed to work together on “the development of a series of tidal lagoons”.
The current plan is to build a 9.5km wall near to Swansea docks. The wall will extend out into the sea before coming back and rejoining the land – to create an enclosed section of water of 11.5 square km that the lagoon will use to generate power.
Tidal Lagoon Power says the project represents an investment of £650m, and will produce enough power for 120,000 homes. It revealed in April that it was on the lookout for public funding, and has said it will be launching a community share offer in the coming months.
The area’s extreme tidal range – which is one of the highest anywhere in the world – will be tapped into twice a day using hydro turbine technology, producing clean, renewable energy while saving over 200,000 tonnes of harmful carbon dioxide.
Ton Fijen, technical director at Tidal Lagoon Power said, “We know that there is an available 10,000 MW 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.”
Mark Shorrock, the chief executive of the project, told Blue & Green Tomorrow more about the project in The Guide to Limitless Clean Energy 2013.