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Swansea tidal lagoon makes waves

Words: Roger Milne

Chancellor George Osborne confirmed in his Budget that negotiations are underway in earnest on proposals for a £1 billion tidal lagoon project for Swansea Bay, which could be the first of six similar green power facilities.

The other proposed lagoon sites are in: Cardiff; Newport; Colwyn Bay in Wales; Bridgwater in Somerset; and West Cumbria.

The Swansea scheme has been examined by the Planning Inspectorate as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP) and a report with recommendations was sent to energy secretary Ed Davey earlier this month.

Ministers are expected to decide whether the scheme should gain development consent by 10 June.

The current round of talks focus on the amount of subsidy the scheme will get from a guaranteed price for its 240 megawatts of power.

Davey is on record as believing that “tidal lagoons could provide 8 per cent of UK electricity needs, replacing foreign fossil fuels with clean, reliable home-grown electricity and creating fantastic economic opportunities”.

His department said the negotiations would establish whether a guaranteed price for power generated by the lagoon would be “affordable and value-for-money”, adding that the project was still subject to planning approval.

Image courtesy of Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon