Planning consent was given for construction of the world’s first tidal lagoon, in a boost to moving towards a low carbon, home grown energy mix.
If built, turbines in the proposed six-mile horseshoe shaped sea wall around Swansea Bay in Wales could generate around 500GWh per year of low carbon electricity.
Mark Shorrock, chief executive of Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay Plc: said:
“Thank you to all the experts who contributed work to the 5000 pages of planning application. Thank you to the UK and Welsh authorities for their robust and professional consideration of our proposals. Thank you to the tidal lagoon team that has worked tirelessly to get us here.”
“We now have some further permissions to secure and must successfully conclude CFD negotiations on our way to financial close, but the vision is now closer to reality than ever before and our delivery team is readying itself to start on site and start delivering for Swansea Bay next spring.”
Separately from the planning consent, the project is still subject to Contract for Difference (CfD) negotiations to establish whether a tidal lagoon at Swansea Bay is affordable and value for money for consumers. Any decision to offer a CFD for the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon project would be subject to strict value for money considerations and affordability, and to State aid approval.
Energy and Climate Change and Wales Office Minister Lord Bourne said:
“We need more clean and home-grown sources of energy, which will help to reduce our reliance on foreign fossil fuels. Low carbon energy projects like the tidal lagoon in Swansea Bay could bring investment, support local jobs and help contribute to the Welsh economy and Swansea area.”
RenewableUK’s Deputy Chief Executive, Maf Smith, welcoming the decision said:
“This momentous news marks the start of an entirely new industry in Britain, which will lead the world in this innovative ultra-modern technology. As a maritime nation, we are perfectly placed to take advantage of the powerful tides surging around our coasts every day, which have great potential to generate increasingly significant quantities of renewable electricity.
Today’s announcement is a major step towards harnessing this untapped energy source on an unprecedented scale, providing clean electricity to the nation for generations to come. It will also provide a massive economic boost with new jobs, economic development and tourism opportunities for the region at the heart of the project.”