Will Swansea Bay be the world's first purpose built tidal lagoon?

10 February 2014



A Development Consent Order application has been submitted to the UK's Planning Inspectorate for a purpose built tidal lagoon, to be sited in Swansea Bay, on the south coast of Wales.


As a project of national significance, the application, which has been developed through extensive consultation in Swansea Bay, will now be reviewed by the Planning Inspectorate before the public examination process commences, and then determination by the Secretary of State for Energy & Climate Change.

Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon will create a new waterfront for Swansea, a focus for water-based activities and a visitor destination in its own right. The design by London 2012 Olympic Park designer LDA Design, creates a 'Maritime Park' between Swansea Bay's beach to the west and Crymlyn Burrows natural dune system to the east and includes sea and landside areas.

On the seaward side, the work includes the establishment of new lagoon walls to capture an area of water that will form the focus for a dynamic public area, including new beaches, water sports, and art.

The scheme includes an iconic 3,500 sq m visitor, operations and maintenance building, designed by Juice Architects to provide a leisure, cultural and educational base. It will also be self-sufficient with all energy required being captured from renewable sources or transferred through recycling waste energy as a by-product of the turbines, including solar panels on the roof.

Another important component of the Lagoon masterplan is the 4000 sq m international watersport and hatchery centre, in a design that complements local industry and heritage. It will provide recreational and competitive sporting facilities alongside sustainably focused research and development of various marine industries. It will include operational and maintenance facilities, boat storage and wet changing areas, a gateway facility, bio-reactor greenhouse facility and a hatchery.

The dedicated hatchery will house an aquaculture system that can support the development and hatchery of oysters and lobsters through an applied seawater circulation system of tanks and hives. The oyster hatchery spawning process will be enhanced by a glass envelope system to generate greenhouse conditions for optimised algae growth with a bio fence network for algae cultivation. The greenhouse structure is designed to harness solar power.

Alister Kratt, Partner of LDA Design, commented: "This naturally powered zero carbon scheme ... will provide a source of clean, renewable energy for the future and the entire maritime park will make a valuable contribution to the public realm of Swansea Bay and its waterfront."

If given the go-ahead, construction of the Swansea Bay lagoon will begin in the first half of 2015, with first power being generated in 2018.

Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon Facts and figures

Installed Capacity320 MW
Net annual output420 GWh
Carbon savings236 000 tonnes CO2 per year
Capital investment£750-850m
Expected visitors100 000 per year

Source: Tidal Lagoon Power Ltd (TLP)

Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon sea wall A 9.5 km long sea wall built at Swansea Bay will capture enough renewable energy to power over 120,000 homes for 120 years.
Swansea Bay tidal lagoon turbine cross-section Swansea Bay tidal lagoon turbine cross-section
Arrival rock pools at Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon Arrival rock pools at Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon
Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay masterplan Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay masterplan


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