The UK and Welsh Governments have included a proposed £850M power generating tidal lagoon in Swansea Bay – which could become the first of its kind in the world – in their latest infrastructure plans.
The project would create or support an estimated 1900 full time equivalent jobs during peak construction, and could be completed in 2018 if construction gets under way as planned in 2015.
The UK Treasury announced yesterday as part of its National Infrastructure Plan 2014, that it will start closer discussions with Tidal Lagoon Power Ltd to establish whether the scheme is affordable and value for money for consumers.
The 2014 Project Pipeline Update to the Wales Infrastructure Investment Plan also includes the project, adding that further tidal lagoon projects may see private sector investment of up to £5Bn.
Tidal Lagoon Power chief executive Mark Shorrock said: “It’s another positive step towards tidal lagoon infrastructure becoming a mainstream energy solution. The Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon provides the key to unlock large quantities of reliable, low cost, low carbon electricity for the next 120 years.”
Secretary of State for Wales Stephen Crabb said: “This is great news for Wales and has the potential to provide a massive boost to the Welsh economy - creating thousands of jobs, attracting millions of pounds worth of investment and helping to secure Wales’s energy future.
“I am a strong supporter of this project and I have long been making the case to my Cabinet colleagues that Welsh innovation should be supporting the next generation of low-carbon technology.”
The project will include a six mile long seawall, housing 16 underwater turbines to generate electricity on both the rising and falling tide.
The lagoon could provide power for over 155,000 homes (equivalent to 90% of Swansea Bay's annual domestic electricity use) for 120 years. When operational the lagoon will create 180 permanent jobs.