Public exhibitions will be held around Swansea and Neath Port Talbot

A formal consultation is set to begin on a proposed £650million tidal lagoon.

The Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon project aims to harness this energy with

the world’s first, purpose-built, tidal lagoon power plant.  

From Thursday 4 July to Monday 5 August, a series of public exhibitions will be held throughout Swansea and

Neath Port Talbot.

Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay Plc are inviting comments on the proposed development before a planning application is prepared and submitted in

late 2013.

The company will apply to the Secretary of State for Energy

and Climate Change (SoS), via the Planning Inspectorate (PINS), for a

Development Consent Order (DCO) under the Planning Act 2008, as the project is

classed as a nationally significant infrastructure project (NSIP).

They will also apply to Welsh

Ministers, via Natural Resources Wales Marine Licensing Team (MLT), for a

marine licence under the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009.

Tidal Lagoon Power Plc proposes to build the lagoon on the

seabed south of and connecting to Swansea Docks (between the dredged channels

of the Rivers Tawe and Neath) and on other land nearby in the City and County

of Swansea and in Neath Port Talbot County Borough.

Work could begin as soon as

April 2015

Head of Planning, Alex Herbert said: ‘The project could

provide up to 400GWh of reliable, low carbon electricity each year – enough for

around 120,000 homes – making the project a significant contributor to

statutory, UK-wide, carbon reduction targets.

‘As a multi-million pound

investment, it will also create economic opportunities for local people and

businesses during construction and operation.

‘It would incorporate a new

visitor attraction with educational/sporting facilities and free, public access

around a new seawall.

‘However, the lagoon may also affect people, communities

and the environment through, for example: visual impact; restrictions to

navigation in Swansea Bay; ecological, water quality, coastal processes and

other environmental impacts; and increased traffic during construction and

operation phases.

‘Therefore, it is vital that local communities have

opportunities to contribute to the planning process.’

What will the project involve?

Offshore development work will include dredging works;

around 11km of new seawall connecting to shore at two points on or close to

Swansea Docks and incorporating visitor/sporting facilities; concrete housings

containing around 16 electricity-generating turbines; electrical connections;

and other necessary facilities.

Onshore development includes construction works: site

preparation and construction works including construction laydown areas and

temporary facilities.

Connection works: electricity transmission infrastructure

to export the electricity generated to Baglan National Grid Substation via

underground cables; road access from the A483 Fabian Way; road access from the

A4217 to King’s Road.

Shoreline works: gated access to the seawall with visitor

facilities; plus onshore operation, control and maintenance facilities.

Mitigation works: works to ensure that the Project properly fits its

environment.

Why Swansea Bay?

Mr Herbert added: ‘Swansea Bay’s tides are an outstanding and reliable source

of natural energy. The Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon project aims to harness this

energy with the world’s first, purpose-built, tidal lagoon power plant.

‘This

will consist of a man-made seawall containing a series of turbines to capture

energy from the motion of the tides and generate electricity.’

Royal Yachting Association (RYA) cruising manager Stuart Carruthers urged members of the public to have their say.

He said: ‘The RYA has been in discussion with the project’s developers to discuss risks to navigation by the project and the sea wall.

‘We have also discussed silting of the lagoon area, whether

safety zones will be required as well as the plans to create a natural

enclosure for the turbine housing, which would negate the need for a 400

metre marked exclusion area around turbines with wire and buoy system.

‘Whilst the RYA and RYA Wales are discussion with TLSB it is

important that the local recreational boating community make their

comments, positive or negative, to this proposed development.’

To find out more visit www.tidallagoonswanseabay.com