Could a second tidal lagoon be built between Cardiff and Newport at a cost of 7bn?
A proposed tidal lagoon between Cardiff and Newport which could power all the homes in Wales is expected to cost up to 7bn.
A report due to go before Cardiff council's cabinet today says the authority should consider fully the opportunities and impacts that might arise from the construction of a lagoon
The project has been proposed by the same company that wants to build a lagoon at Swansea.
A report by Cardiff council’s director of city operations, Andrew Gregory, on the council’s energy programme says the possibility of such a project “has been mooted in the public domain”.
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'At an initial development stage'
The report adds: “Although the opportunity remains at an initial stage of development the council has been approached by a private sector company with an interest in developing the concept into a major project.
“In response the council needs to consider fully the opportunities, impacts, and risks involved in such a major undertaking.
“Part of this work will need to involve a shared understanding of the issues arising from tidal power generation along the Severn Estuary in the context of work being undertaken by Great Western Cities.
“This will need to inform the council’s own assessment of a development that would cost up to £7bn and generate circa 600mw of energy per annum.
“The implications of such a scheme for Cardiff needs to be clearly understood.”
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Tidal Lagoon Power – the company behind the proposal – says the lagoon is still in the “very early” stages of development with no formal planning application expected until the spring of 2017.
The basic design has not yet been fixed but the lagoon would be substantially larger than the Swansea equivalent, which received planning consent from the Government last month.
According to the Tidal Lagoon Power website for the Cardiff scheme it will have a capacity of between 1.8 and 2.8 gigawatts and could produce enough electricity to power every home in Wales.
It is likely to cost between £6bn and £8bn to build although the estimates are very approximate at this stage.
The money would come from private sector investors, as with the Swansea lagoon.
If it goes ahead the Cardiff lagoon is likely to be the second built by Tidal Lagoon Power, which hopes eventually to build a fleet totalling six lagoons around the coasts of Wales and England.
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'The Cardiff project is the most advanced'
Speaking about the plans Andrew McNaughton, Tidal Lagoon Power’s director of engineering and construction, said: “The two other lagoons we are focusing on most are Cardiff and Newport and Cardiff is the most advanced.
“Each of them has to be modelled and the business case worked on for us to determine if it’s right before we submit the planning applications. The modelling on Cardiff is very advanced.”
According to information supplied by Tidal Lagoon Power to the Planning Inspectorate, the west end of the Cardiff lagoon would be around a mile and a quarter from the entrance to Cardiff Bay and the east end the same distance from the mouth of the River Usk.
The lagoon wall could reach as far as five miles out into the centre of the Severn estuary.
A spokesman for Tidal Lagoon Power said: “We continue to progress our plans for the UK’s first full-scale energy-generating lagoon in Cardiff but we remain at a very early stage.
“We have requested a scoping opinion for the project from the Planning Inspectorate and will continue to develop our proposals in conjunction with stakeholders, independent experts, and the public. This includes Cardiff council.”
Another lagoon is planned for Bridgewater Bay in Somerset, which Tidal Lagoon Power says will help reduce flooding in the Somerset Levels as well as generating electricity.
Source: Wales Online
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