French multinational conglomerate Alstom signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Tidal Lagoon Power to work on a “a series of tidal lagoons”.
The power generation and engineering giant will manufacture turbines for a proposed £650m tidal lagoon project in Swansea Bay.
Steve Burgin, vice president of sales in Northern and Central Europe, Power Generation, Alstom, said: “Our aim is to optimise a turbine design for maximum power output from lowest production cost before manufacturing the turbines and generators required.”
Consultation on the plan is expected to start in the summer, and if everything goes to plan the facility might be operational and connected to the power grid by 2017.
According to developer Tidal Lagoon Power, the Swansea Bay project would be the first purpose-built power plant of its kind in the world, able to produce enough electricity to meet Swansea’s consumption. It would produce power for up to 16 hours a day, and save 200,000 tonnes of CO2 per year.
For Tidal Lagoon Power, however, the Swansea project would only represent the beginning. The organisation hopes to deliver 10,000MW of power from the tidal range in the United Kingdom.
Ton Fijen, technical director at Tidal Lagoon Power, commented: “The Swansea project will hopefully be the first in a network of lagoons around the UK coastline, driving a critical change in our energy mix with low-cost, low-carbon electricity sources that are sustainable long term.”