Tidal Lagoon Power (TLP) has filed the final assessment of the impact on fish for Swansea Bay tidal lagoon project to Natural Resources Wales as part of marine license procurement process.
Following discussions with Natural Resources Wales (NRW) and its external fisheries advisers, the impacts on fish have now been modeled using an Alternative Draw Zone (ADZ) methodology, TLP informed.
“Based on the Monte Carlo analysis conducted on the ADZ models, an approach agreed with NRW’s fisheries advisers, the results show that impacts on both marine and migratory fish species are likely to be very low, and much lower than the figures established by NRW in November 2016,” TLP said.
This agreed assessment approach is in addition to the IBM encounter rate and STRIKER injury rate models that were submitted for the Development Consent Order (DCO) application and considered by the Secretary of State when the DCO was granted, according to TLP.
To remind, TLP and NRW entered dispute over the predicted fish death rates caused by the lagoon late in 2016.
TLP argued that NRW’s figures, which were interpreted as having ‘major adverse effects’ on the fish in the area, were ‘misleading’ and that the effects were demonstrated to be minimal.
As the Welsh government’s body in charge of sustainable management of its natural resources, NRW decides on issuing marine licenses which are required before starting marine works for any project.
“NRW will now agree their consultation process before confirming timescales for a decision. We very much hope to receive the marine license from NRW for this transformational project in early 2018,” TLP said.
TLP believes that the potential impact on migratory and marine fish species, along with associated assessments under the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations and Water Framework Directive, are the only remaining issues to be addressed before the marine license can be determined.
The proposed £1.3 billion Swansea Bay tidal lagoon, with the capacity of 320MW, comprises 16 hydro turbines, and a six mile breakwater wall.
Once constructed, it will be capable of generating electricity for 155,000 homes for the next 120 years.