News

Company goes to court to keep tidal lagoon project alive

20 Oct 2021 2 minutes Read
Image of how the Swansea Bay tidal lagoon seawall would look 

Richard Youle, local democracy reporter

A company which spent millions of pounds on plans to build a Swansea Bay tidal lagoon has gone to the courts to keep its project alive.

Tidal Power plc drew up proposals over a period of years for a £1.3 billion energy scheme between the Tawe and Neath rivers, extending into the bay.

In June 2015 it was awarded a development consent order for the project, which it said would provide electricity for the equivalent of 155,000 homes for over a century, but the company had to start work on site within five years.

The project appeared sunk in 2018 when the UK Government declined to offer financial support which guaranteed the lagoon’s price of electricity – a move considered essential for the scheme’s viability.

However, the day before the five-year deadline in June 2020 elapsed, Tidal Power plc commissioned contractors to knock down a wall Swansea docks in a bid to effectively gain planning permission in perpetuity. It said at the time that it proposed handing over the project to an engineering alliance including Costain and GE, among others.

‘Seeking clarification’ 

The UK Government and Swansea Council said the development consent order had expired, and now Tidal Power plc is seeking clarification from the courts.

The company said: “We have asked the court for a formal declaration that the Swansea Bay tidal lagoon development consent order has lawfully begun and did not expire in June 2020.

“The declaration would provide the ability to retain the option of tidal power at scale through an already approved development consent order, which potentially could assist the Government in achieving ‘net zero’ by 2050 and provide clean and sustainable energy from a UK source.”

In the meantime, other organisations have worked up new tidal lagoon  proposals for Swansea Bay, which include thousands of floating houses, a solar farm and underwater data server storage capacity.

If such a project was taken forward it would need planning permission – this time from the Welsh not UK Government – plus a marine licence from Natural Resources Wales, among other things.

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Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
1 month ago

Don’t waste your time – the UK Government does not like investing in Wales. Upon independence we can fully invest in green projects as a country without London nagative interference or under-investment. We are gifted with the potential for green energy – we should definitely use it.

Phil Jones
Phil Jones
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve Duggan

Actually Steve they are looking to “invest” two nuclear power stations in Wales, not for our good though but safely away from London

Malcolm rj
Malcolm rj
1 month ago

Second highest tides in the world a gift from God but it’s in Wales they won’t spend money in Wales they just rape our country

j humphrys
j humphrys
1 month ago

Tidal Power and other companies in Cymru should start backing Independence.
We can do better because we CARE about making our country a successful one.
Unlike the Tories, who are a dead weight around all our necks, and always have been.

Brenda
Brenda
1 month ago

quite clear the dco lapsed
extremely clear directors of Tidal lagoon company couldnt supply Natural resources wales with required details asked for re a legally required Marine Licence
The conspiracy theory that England doesnt like Wales is bumkum. and frankly childish chatter
so no legally obtained planning permissions

could you build a house or construct an extension to your property without proper planning permissions ? of course not

same applies to this shameful white elephant

Gary Owen
Gary Owen
1 month ago
Reply to  Brenda

It sounds like you know some of the detail of this case so I’ll accept your point. But in general, why are we not pursuing tidal? Low carbon energy we can generate here, which avoids the intermittency issues of solar and wind. Why not this sort of project, rather than planning for a future energy mix involving “blue” hydrogen from natural gas, which will only be carbon neutral with the aid of carbon capture tech we don’t yet have?

Mark
Mark
1 month ago
Reply to  Brenda

If you know the right people and can lay your hands on enough cash, you can get planning permission to build anything anywhere,

Brenda
Brenda
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark

Unfortunately, Mark Shorrock ran out of other peoples funds, after investing £70 of his own money in shares in his own company, at the same time charging related firms 20% interest, and creaming off millions in fees and charges. Do your homework. It’s all in the public domain if you look hard enough !

Phil Jones
Phil Jones
1 month ago

Why did the UK Government turn this hairbrained scheme down? They demanded a guaranteed price for all electricity about 5 times the current price and a grant of millions for eventual de-commissioning. The cartoon of the breakwater with cyclists and walkers strolling on a path a mile out to see with little yachts sailing on the lagoon while a million gallons of water a second flood out was so fraudulent it was laughable. a madcap scheme to enrich a Somerset/devon quarry owner

Phil Jones
Phil Jones
1 month ago
Reply to  Phil Jones

a mile out to sea

Wrecsam Ian
Wrecsam Ian
1 month ago
Reply to  Phil Jones

This is typical nationalist thinking putting xenophobia above public interest.

This was basically a ponzi scheme that would have conned the whole of the Welsh population that the UK Government called out.

But OH NO, Westminster is raping us!

Phil
Phil
1 month ago
Reply to  Wrecsam Ian

I don’t doubt the ability of the proposed scheme to generate power but recall claims that there have been ‘dodgy dealings’ involving the scheme’s management and directors.
Seem to recall Private Eye articles a few years ago…

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
1 month ago

I have had a ‘fantasy’ for decades of a water turbine below the main span of Barmouth bridge, with the bridge closed for the next few months now would have been a good opportunity to test my theory…

Christopher Dale
Christopher Dale
1 month ago

In Orkney, Tidal power is being proven to be a useful source of energy with turbines, both floating and sea bed mounted. There are several places round our coast that could employ barriers and we should go for them. But don’t expect Karzi Kwarteng to agree, he wants private enterprise to do it all.

Jennings Terry
Jennings Terry
1 month ago

Perhaps no prominent mps have no investment in the project or on the board of directors of the development companies

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