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Welsh government commits to help fund 320MW Swansea Bay tidal lagoon project

EBR Staff Writer Published 12 January 2018

The Welsh government has committed to provide a substantial investment for the 320MW Swansea Bay tidal lagoon project.

Being developed by a special purpose vehicle (SPV) company Tidal Lagoon (Swansea Bay), the £1.3bn ($1.49bn) project is said to be one of the world's biggest tidal power plants.

In a letter to UK Prime Minister Theresa May, First Minister of Wales Carwyn Jones has proposed to cover some of the capital costs for the project, and also called on the government to allow the project to complete.

Jones said that the tidal lagoon power plant would create thousands of jobs, supply a significant proportion of the UK’s energy needs and position the country as a world leader in a new global industry.

“And, yet, the UK government has been dragging its heels for over a year. This is leading to a growing sense of frustration among the Welsh business community and an increasing risk that the lack of a decision will turn into a decision not to proceed.

“Now is the time for the UK government to stop stalling and get on with agreeing a strike price so we can make this transformative project a reality.”

Tidal Lagoon (Swansea Bay) CEO Mark Shorrock said: “We look forward to working alongside the Welsh Government to now close the deal for Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon with the UK Government.”

The Welsh Government’s investment, if any, would be subject to the UK government agreeing to an appropriate contract for difference (CfD) arrangement and the project securing any necessary licenses and consents.

A report by former Energy Minister Charles Hendry, which was published in January 2017, concluded that tidal lagoons could play a cost-effective role in the UK's energy mix. There is considerable value in a small pathfinder project.


Image: The Swansea Bay tidal lagoon project in the UK is estimated to cost $1.49bn. Photo: courtesy of Good Energy.