Man-made Tidal Lagoons Could Transform UK Power & Economy

Ambitious UK plan looks to the sea to transform Wales’ economy and energy needs.

energy, tidal, swansea, uk, infrastructureAn ambitious UK plan could see Wales’ economy and energy needs transformed by the power of the tides.

Called the Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay, the proposed tidal power station would envelop a vast swath of the Welsh bay with a 9.5km (6 mi) long lagoon wall. Built from sand, biofabric, stone and concrete the lagoon barrier would be home to an enormous 550m (1,804ft) tidal power generation facility containing up to 26 turbines.

With its dramatic and daily 10.5m (34ft) tidal swings the Swansea Tidal Plant would leverage the bay’s natural ebb and flow to force water from the surrounding Atlantic into the sequestered lagoon. As the water flows through the plant’s numerous turbines electricity would be generated. With the rise and fall of the tides occurring four times daily, recycled currents could generate electricity in a continual and environmentally friendly manner.

If the Tidal Lagoon is funded in its entirety its proponents say the facility could provide 320MW of sustainable, reliable power for the next 120 years.  But, that’s only the beginning.

Given that every inch of the UK’s fractal borders are touched by the Atlantic and various seas, the successful implementation of the Swansea plant could pave the way for an energy revolution in Britain. Tidal Lagoons could one-day dot Britain’s coastline, bringing local power to many communities. What’s more, since transmission from to the country’s most interior reaches (101km/63mi.) is so miniscule, all of the UK’s citizens would benefit from the technology proposed in Wales.

The Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay is currently classified as a “Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project” and further details surrounding the $1.42B project are expected next year. Given the project’s ability to produce a renewable energy foundation, hundreds of long-term jobs, and various educational opportunities I’d be surprised to see it mothballed.

Images and Video Courtesy of Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay