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Cardiff mulls over plan for massive tidal barrage

Words: Roger Milne
Cardiff Bay / iStock_12921069

Cardiff City Council is considering investigating the opportunities and issues that a £6-8 billion tidal lagoon could bring to the area.

In prospect is a project in Cardiff Bay between the capital city and Newport.

Leader of the council, Phil Bale said: “A tidal lagoon for Cardiff Bay would see the construction of a seawall, some 22 kilometres in length, enclosing an area of some 70 square kilometres. It would hold 11 times the volume of water that the proposed Swansea Lagoon would contain.“

It would also produce significantly more power than the Swansea Bay project, which is rated at 320 megawatts. A Cardiff version could generate as much as 3 gigawatts, which is nearly as much as the Hinkley C nuclear power station scheme on the other side of the Severn Estuary.

Bale added: “This is potentially an engineering and energy project of global significance, yet there is limited independent information about its feasibility or practicality. Right now there has been no detailed independent, expert analysis or critical scrutiny of the Cardiff project, which is of an entirely different scale to the Swansea Bay scheme.

"A project of this scale could offer many opportunities, creating thousands of jobs, delivering low-carbon energy, and enhancing regeneration options. There’s no doubt it could be an incredibly exciting project for Cardiff and Wales. But it may also raise potential environmental issues which will need to be carefully assessed."

Image credit | iStock