The £850m Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon power-generating project will be the first of its kind in the world. It has just been announced that UK-based consulting engineering firm Atkins has been appointed the client’s engineer on the project in Wales.
The lagoon will be a 320MW facility will be built over 11.5 sq km, cordoned off by a breakwater. Its annual energy output is expected to be around 420GWh per annum with a design life of 120 years. Power will be generated from incoming and outgoing tides equivalent to 100,000 Olympic sized swimming pools of water passing through its turbines per day.
Swansea bay is just one project within a larger, £12bn scheme to build five full-scale tidal lagoons in the UK by 2023, with a view to them producing enough energy to meet 10% of the UK’s electricity needs.
Atkins will provide specialist design and engineering support for the breakwater, turbine house and ancillary works, as well as providing additional support in the tender process by the way of document development, providing detailed designs and reviewing responses.
Atkins will also be providing site supervision, auditing and technical checking services once a design and build contractor has been selected and construction work starts.
Swansea experiences some of the highest tides in the world. The lagoon is anticipated to generate enough power for the domestic needs of the city of Swansea from 2017.
Mike McNicholas, Managing Director of Atkins’ UK design and engineering business, said: “This is a major civil engineering project which combines a wide range of disciplines from building services, power and architecture to structural and marine engineering. It is a world first and something which will make a positive difference to people in the UK and possibly wider afield. As designers and engineers, these are the things that make us get out of bed in the morning and it’s great to be part of the team.”
He further concluded: “This scheme can move todal lagoons from being a great idea to something real which can deliver green and reliable energy for thousands of homes and businesses within the next few years.”
The scheme will provide a major boost to local employment opportunities, especially during construction.
Construction work is set to commence in Spring 2015 with first power being generated in 2018.