Fresh funding announced for tidal lagoon projects in Wales – Ground Engineering
Wales’ first minister has pledged new funds towards making Wales a “world centre” for emerging tidal technology, despite the fate of the canned Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon project.
First minister Mark Drakeford has announced £750,000 of funding for research projects that focus on the deployment of tidal lagoon technology.
The funding will benefit at least three projects, which will help to address the barriers that have prevented the development of tidal lagoon technology. The projects will also give more insight into the benefits that the technology could bring to Wales.
The Welsh government hopes that the research will advance the future development of a tidal lagoon project in Welsh waters.
“Our ambition is to make Wales a world centre for emerging tidal technology,” Drakeford said.
“We cannot deliver this by ourselves. We need to work in partnership with the industry to build the right environment for the sector to flourish.
“The research will make a significant contribution to delivering a future tidal lagoon project in Wales and move the sector forward as a whole.”
Tidal Lagoon (Swansea Bay) was to build the world’s first tidal lagoon power plant across Swansea Bay. It would have harnessed tidal energy and had a maximum installed electrical capacity of 320MW generated by 16 turbines.
The project was granted a development consent order (DCO) in 2015, and in June 2018 the Welsh government offered £200M towards its costs.
However, work on the development was suspended later that month after the then-secretary of state for business, energy and industrial strategy announced that the project no longer represented value for money and that funding by the UK Government should not be assumed.
The Tidal Range Alliance said that Drakeford’s new funding announcement showed the Welsh government was still “committed to delivering tidal range and ensuring this vital technology delivers secure, renewable power”.
The alliance, which is a working group within the British Hydropower Association (BHA), added: “The technology has already been proven at scale, and this research will help provide the evidence that will unlock the first wave of tidal range projects here in Wales.”
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