Tidal Lagoon Power (TLP), the power project developer of the mega tidal project announced on Monday that it received approval to connect the 3.24GW tidal project to the national grid, changing the renewable energy landscape both in the UK and worldwide.
The project will be located between Cardiff and Newport, in the Severn Estuary.
Once completed, it will have an estimated electricity output of 5.5TWh per year, which according to the company is enough electricity to supply every single household in Wales.
The development process for the project started back in 2013 and the formal application for a Development Consent Order is expected to be submitted in 2018.
The 3,240MW project will trigger around £8 billion of private investment.
Early estimates suggest that the tidal project will need more that 3,000 construction workers, and has the potential to create and sustain over 8,000 manufacturing jobs in both Wales and all over UK.
During the construction process, Tidal Lagoon Cardiff can contribute up to £2 billion in Gross Value Added to the Welsh economy, and over £500 million every operational year.
The power plant will comprise a 20.5 km breakwater wall, housing up to 108 tidal lagoon turbines and at least two powerhouse units, which would handle flows of around 600 million cubic meter of water on each tidal cycle.
Tidal Lagoon Power is also developing a pilot scheme, located in Swansea, known as Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay.
The pilot project will have a total installed capacity of 320MW, and is set to define the final decision for the Cardiff follow-up project.
It is set to comprise sixteen 23ft diameter hydro turbines and a six mile breakwater wall.
The Swansea scheme is developed in partnership with Atkins, General Electric, Andritz Hydro, Laing O’Rourke and Alun Griffiths Ltd, but is still waiting for the final approval from the UK Government.
The Swansea project is estimated to cost £89.90/ MWh during its 90-year lifespan, but the Cardiff project is expected to cost £60-70/MWh as the follow-up project is expected to benefit from lower supply chain costs.
Phil Sheppard, National Grid's director of UK System Operator said: "We have worked alongside tidal lagoon developers to gain an understanding of the operational characteristics of the proposed lagoons”.
"This infrastructure project will have a significant impact as we move towards an increasingly low carbon electricity network”.
Despite the fact that the outcome of the pilot project will define the destiny of the Cardiff mega project, Tidal Lagoon Power is keen to advance its subsequent plans no matter what.
Mark Shorrock, Tidal Lagoon Power's Chief Executive said: “While we await the government’s response to this offer and to the independent reviews of the tidal lagoons, we have continued our development work on the subsequent programme”.
The final governmental sign-off decision for the Swansea pilot project will come out within the next weeks.
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