Tidal Lagoon Power will today take a first significant step towards the delivery of full-scale tidal lagoon infrastructure in the UK with the submission of an Environmental Impact Assessment scoping report for a tidal lagoon between Cardiff and Newport. The project will have an installed capacity, dependent on final design, of between 1,800MW and 2,800MW, giving a reliable annual output of 4 TWh to 6 TWh, comfortably enough low carbon electricity to power every home in Wales throughout its 120 year life.
Last year, a report by PÓ§yry showed that tidal lagoons of this scale produce power at a cost comparable to nuclear and fossil fuel generation. The proposed Cardiff Tidal Lagoon would be the UK’s first full-scale tidal lagoon power plant. It follows the pioneering Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon, a scheme developed to establish a scalable blueprint for the sector and due to receive a planning decision by June 10th 2015. In December, the Swansea Bay project was named in HM Treasury’s National Infrastructure Plan.
An Environmental Impact Assessment scoping document seeks comment on all of the survey work proposed to support an eventual robust planning application for a Nationally Significant Infrastructure project. The submission to the Planning Inspectorate of the 400+ page document represents a first milestone in the delivery of the Cardiff Tidal Lagoon. Site selection and feasibility studies for the project began in 2011, with a dedicated engagement team established in 2013.
Tidal Lagoon Power has also confirmed that early feasibility and engagement work is underway relating to the delivery of four other full-scale UK tidal lagoons at Newport, West Cumbria, Colwyn Bay and Bridgwater Bay. Together, the national fleet of six lagoons could meet 8% of the UK’s total electricity requirement for 120 years.
Plans for Tidal Lagoon Cardiff include up to 90 turbines set within a 22km breakwater that will enclose an area of around 70km2 with an average tidal range of 9.21m. The Western landfall would be approximately 2km from the entrance to Cardiff Bay and the Eastern landfall would be approximately 2km from the mouth of the River Usk. The lagoon has a design life of 120 years, will generate power for approximately 14 hours each day and could be powered on in 2022.
Mark Shorrock, Chief Executive of Tidal Lagoon Power:
“Full-scale tidal lagoon infrastructure gives the UK an opportunity to generate electricity from our amazing tidal range at a cost comparable to fossil fuel or nuclear generation. We have the best tidal resource in Europe and the second best worldwide. We now have a sustainable way to make the most of this natural advantage.
“We will build on the template established for the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon – applying the expertise and learning, scaling the UK supply chain and Turbine Assembly Plant, leveraging the institutional investor partnerships we have developed – to deliver a Cardiff Tidal Lagoon capable of working in harmony with nature to supply around 1.5 million UK homes, now and for generations to come, with affordable, reliable, low carbon electricity. There is still a long way to go and many environmental surveys to undertake but we will work in partnership with all nature conservation bodies so as to understand, avoid, minimise and mitigate any environmental impacts.”
Tidal Lagoon Power Limited expects to submit a full planning application for Tidal Lagoon Cardiff in 2017, with a decision then expected in 2018. The lagoon will take up to five years to build. The company estimates a CFD strike price requirement of £90-£95/MWh for the project. With a Cardiff Tidal Lagoon, the weighted average CFD strike price across the UK’s first two tidal lagoon power plant at Swansea Bay and Cardiff could be between £95/MWh and £105/MWh.
1] Average annual electricity consumption per Welsh household = 3,928 kWhHTTPS://WWW.GOV.UK/GOVERNMENT/STATISTICAL-DATA-SETS/REGIONAL-AND-LOCAL-AUTHORITY-ELECTRICITY-CONSUMPTION-STATISTICS-2005-TO-2011. 1.319m Welsh households HTTP://GOV.WALES/STATISTICS-AND-RESEARCH/HOUSEHOLD-ESTIMATES/?LANG=EN