Plans to a create a tidal lagoon power station in the Severn Estuary that could necessitate 10% of the UK's electricity demands have been submitted.
The £850m venture will see the construction of a six-mile, u-shaped seawall with underwater turbines that will harness incoming and outgoing tides from Swansea docks to the new Fabian Way campus at Swansea University.
The tidal lagoon would comprise an impounding “breakwater or seawall” capable of containing 11 square kms (4 sq miles) of seawater. The project is set to create 1,850 construction jobs, as well as, 60 operational jobs and 90 vacancies linked to visitor spending.
Tidal Lagoon Power, the company behind the operation, expects the lagoon to become a major tourist attraction, with an offshore visitor centre, a road for pedestrians, cyclists and electric buses, and triathlon and water sports facilities within the wall.
Mark Shorrock, chief executive of Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay, said on Friday: “Until now, tidal energy has been heavily promoted by governments and environmentalists as an intuitive source of clean and reliable energy for our island nation, but the business response has focused on relatively small-scale tidal stream devices.
“The UK has the second highest tidal range in the world and today we are submitting an application for a development that will prove that this resource can be harnessed in a way that makes economic, environmental and social sense.
Mr Shorrock added the company intends to supply 10% of the UK’s domestic electricity by building by at least five full-scale tidal lagoons in UK waters by 2023.