The proposed tidal lagoon for Swansea Bay in Wales will cost £650 million and will be capable of generating over 400,000MWh/year… enough to supply over 100,000 homes, or Swansea’s entire domestic electricity use. Swansea Bay will save over 200,000 tonnes CO2 every year… that’s equivalent to taking 40-50,000 cars off UK roads each year.

The plans have been drawn up for the creation of a large artificial lagoon in Swansea Bay to harness the untapped power of the Atlantic tidal range as a natural energy source. The tidal range is enormous from 7 to 9 meters in height which therefore requires a huge investment in specialised companies to plan, design and construct this enormous construction project.

A causeway is a road, railway or route across water or wetland raised up on an embankment. The causeway constructed will be 10.5km in length and will encompass the lagoon which covers a total area of 11km2.

The £650 million investment will not only produce enough energy for 100,000 homes but it will create long term job opportunities, recreational facilities and associated education programmes tailored for all levels of learning including at a university level.The social and educational facilities highlight the necessity for greater scope in regional development and construction projects to incorporate a greater number of benefits as opposed to the clear economic advantages.

The construction of the lagoon will incorporate innovative methods which will address the sustainability requirements in large scale projects today! The naturally looking causeway will be created without the heavy use of materials such as concrete, but instead will reuse the gravel and sand from the sea bed along with large sea boulders to prevent erosion and movement.

The project will create power by using a 550m long turbine house containing up to 26 low head bulb turbines- specialist turbines which harness tidal power in a similar way conventional ones do so in normal power plants. At 6mx18m they are colossal in size with the ability to generate up to 16 megawatts per hour. The tidal concept works by creating a difference in water height on either side of the lagoon, which will subsequently be taken advantage of by the turbines which will allow water to flow through to create equilibrium.  With two tides a day, four opportunities are created to harness the untapped tidal power.lagoon_map

Article by Chris Clark - LinkedIn Profile