Cardiff tidal lagoon secures grid connection

Cardiff tidal lagoon (Image: Tidal Lagoon Power)

Tidal Lagoon Power has agreed the grid connection deal with National Grid for the proposed 3.2GW Cardiff tidal lagoon project in the Severn Estuary.

The project, located between Cardiff and Newport, has the potential annual output of around 5.5TWh and will be capable of powering every home in Wales, according to the developer, Tidal Lagoon Power.

It would be the first tidal lagoon power plant at full-scale, made possible by the consented ‘pathfinder’ project at Swansea Bay, which is still awaiting final sign off expected in the coming weeks from the UK government, Tidal Lagoon Power said.

Mark Shorrock, Tidal Lagoon Power’s CEO, said: “We have secured the grid connection for a tidal power station equal in installed capacity to Hinkley Point C. Looking at the pounds per megawatt hour unit cost of new build power stations, nuclear is currently priced in the nineties, the latest offshore wind projects are expected to drop into the seventies and our models show Cardiff Tidal Lagoon beating them all in the sixties.

“What’s more, by leveraging the commanding position taken by UK industry preparing for Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon, the supply chain contracts awarded for Cardiff Tidal Lagoon will be worth more than £6 billion to UK companies.”

With the potential to invest around £8 billion of private capital, the Cardiff tidal lagoon could employ over 3,000 construction workers on the build, with the potential to create and sustain over 8,000 Welsh and UK manufacturing jobs in the project’s supply chain, Tidal Lagoon Power said, citing and independent estimate.

Phil Sheppard, National Grid’s Director of UK System Operator, said: “Tidal power presents a reliable and predictable source of renewable generation that has the potential for highly flexible operation in the future. This infrastructure project will have a significant impact as we move towards an increasingly low carbon electricity network.”

Current plans for Cardiff Tidal Lagoon comprise a 20.5 km breakwater wall housing up to 108 tidal lagoon turbines within at least two powerhouse units.

Tidal Lagoon Power said the project has been undergoing preliminary environmental and engineering studies for 3 years now, with a full application for Development Consent for Cardiff Tidal Lagoon anticipated in 2019.

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