Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay
At 320MW installed capacity, with first power expected in 2018, Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon will be the largest marine energy development in the world. Developed by Tidal Lagoon Power Limited, it will have an entirely predictable 495GWh output each year of clean, green electricity and is estimated that it will power 155,000 homes for 120 years – that’s about 90% of Swansea Bay and 11% of Wales’ domestic use.
The Severn Estuary holds the second highest tidal range in the world and Swansea Bay benefits from an average tidal range during spring tides of 8.5m.This tidal range offers significant potential for the extraction of renewable energy through the construction of tidal lagoons.
A tidal lagoon generates electricity by releasing water through a series of turbines in combination with a pressure difference caused by the difference in water level between lagoon and sea. The main driver for this head difference is the motion of the tides. The Swansea Bay tidal lagoon is capable of generating in both ebb and flood conditions by making use of turbines that can work efficiently in both flow directions, thereby fully utilizing the tidal range in Swansea Bay.
Although the Lagoon is the first of its kind, all component parts of the project have been proven elsewhere in the world, keeping technology challenges and risks low. Furthermore, because the tidal water levels are entirely predictable, it is possible to compute the expected energy output for years to come.