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New tidal lagoon plans unveiled for Swansea including floating solar and storage

The 9.5km lagoon structure will include state-of-the-art underwater turbines generating 320MW of electricity. Image: Swansea Council.

The 9.5km lagoon structure will include state-of-the-art underwater turbines generating 320MW of electricity. Image: Swansea Council.

A new proposal has been unveiled for a Swansea tidal lagoon, which could see the 320MW generator developed using private funding.

It forms part of the larger Blue Eden project being developed by Bridgend-based DST Innovations, along with a number of business partners and support from Swansea Council and Associated British Ports.

The £1.7 billion project will also include; a 60,000 square metre battery energy storage manufacturing plant, a battery facility to store the renewable energy produced by Blue Eden – if this element were constructed now it would be the biggest battery facility in the world, according to Swansea Council – a 72,000 square metre floating solar array anchored in the Queen's dock area, a 94,000 square metre data centre – which will be powered entirely by the renewable generation on site – an oceanic and climate change research centre and approximately 150 floating, energy-efficient eco-homes.

All the buildings and facilities would be constructed alongside the lagoon, utilising existing land in the area. The site will sit just south of the Prince of Wales Dock in the SA1 area of Swansea.

"Blue Eden will put Swansea and Wales at the cutting-edge of global renewable energy innovation, helping create thousands of well-paid jobs, significantly cut our carbon footprint and further raise Swansea's profile across the world as a place to invest,” said Cllr Rob Stewart, Swansea Council leader.

"This project truly is a game-changer for Swansea, its economy and renewable energy in the UK, and crucially it can be delivered without the need for government subsidies."

Blue Eden could create over 2,500 permanent jobs and support a further 16,000 across Wales and the UK as part of the wider supply chain. The project will be delivered in three phases over a period of 12 years.

All the electricity produced on site will be used to power the development itself, including a mixed development of affordable housing, assisted living areas and luxury apartments. All these homes will have up to 20 years of renewable energy and heat provision included with the sale of the properties, due to the innovation on-site.

Tony Miles, co-founder and chief executive of DST Innovations added that "Blue Eden is an opportunity to create a template for the world to follow - utilising renewable energy and maximising new technologies and thinking to develop not only a place to live and work, but also to thrive."

A Blue Eden project follows previous plans for the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon project, a 320MW development proposed by Tidal Power. However, it failed to gain financial support from the government, and in 2020 there were reports that the planning permission for the site had expired.

Subject to planning permission, work could begin on site for Blue Eden by early 2023, said Swansea Council.

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