engineering careers  The tides turning for Swansea – ‘Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon’ could see the city become an international hub for tidal energy.
engineering careers  The tides turning for Swansea – ‘Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon’ could see the city become an international hub for tidal energy.

Tidal Lagoon Power has kicked off the bidding contest for Swansea’s tidal lagoon. The company is hoping to construct a £22m turbine manufacturing and pre-assembly plant and become the centre of a ‘Made in Britain’ tidal lagoon turbine industry.

While plans for the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon have been floating around for the last few years,  Tidal Lagoon Power (TLP) is the first company to deliver a bid for the project. TLP are hoping that the ‘Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon’, with a 320MW capacity, would be largest marine energy development in the world.

Their plan would see a 100m-long hub will be located between the Kings and Queens Dock at Swansea Bay.

The project would be constructed from components sourced across Wales and the UK, but pre-assembly would take place on site creating 100 skilled jobs for Swansea. However, TLP hope to kick-start the tidal energy industry in the UK and become and eventually become an international hub for tidal power (with the international tidal lagoon market valued at £30bn this could be fantastic news for Swansea).

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The pre-qualification period ends later this month, the bidding process will run until November 7th, with the government awarding the contract by mid-January next year.

While the 320MW lagoon will be the biggest of its kind, plans have been proposed for a 2.8GW full-scale lagoon at Cardiff.

This isn’t just fantastic news not just for the UK’s renewal energy sector, but for the Welsh economy, as the steel and manufacturing industries could be set to win contracts totalling £800m from the scheme, and up to £6bn if the Cardiff project gets the go-ahead.


The Stats

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How do the Lagoon stats stack up?

  • 320MW – Installed capacity of our pathfinder project at Swansea Bay
  • >530GWh – Reliable net power output every year, for 120 years
  • 155,000 – Approximate number of Welsh homes the project could power in full each year
  • 11% – Proportion of Welsh domestic electricity consumption the project could meet each year
  • £1.3 billion – Private capital investment through construction, half of which is targeted to be spent in Wales
  • 100,000 – Equivalent number of Olympic swimming pools that will pass through our turbines each day
  • 2,232 – Number of construction and manufacturing jobs directly sustained by the project
  • 100,000 tonnes – Estimated total of (majority UK) steel required for project construction and manufacturing
  • 311 – Number of UK industrial businesses to attend our four supply chain awareness workshops to date
  • 959 – Swansea Bay residents are members of Active Supporters Groups that promote the project
  • 86% – Proportion of local stakeholders to declare support for the project during community consultation
  • 9.5km – Length of the lagoon’s breakwater
  • 11.5km² – Area of sea enclosed by the breakwater
  • >50% – Efficiency of lagoon as a proportion of the available potential energy of the tide (Emax)
  • >4,000 – Number of pages in the project’s Environmental Statement (of a 5,000 page planning application)
  • 1,363 – Number of documents submitted during the Development Consent Order process
  • 100,000 – Number of visitors project could attract to Swansea Bay annually
  • 236,000 tonnes – Carbon savings during each year of operation
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