Swansea Bay hydrokinetic project continues moving forward

Swansea Bay

Energy development group Tidal Lagoon Power Limited has reached a significant milestone in the development of a massive hydroelectric power project with the announcement of three design, build and deliver agreements.

HydroWorld.com reported in November 2012 that Tidal Lagoon Power Limited (TLP) would likely receive private financing for the project from Atkins Engineering, Van Oord and Costain Infrastructure, among others, though the three have now been named for the project's actual development phase as well.

According to TLP, the US$966.5 million project will consist of a 6-mile-long, 35-foot-high semi-circular sea wall that will enclose an area west of Swansea Marina.

The wall would be dotted along its length with a number of hydro turbines, giving the project a cumulative capacity of around 250 MW.

Each of TLP's three partners adds a unique quality to the project's development, the company said.

Costain will work in developing and managing the schedule for pre-construction and construction phases, developing construction methodology for civil engineering works including turbine and sluice structures, access routes and complex temporary works, including temporary bund for construction turbine housing.

Meanwhile, Atkins will provide engineering design and geotechnical expertise. TLP said this includes "designing both the turbine house and the innovate breakwater bund wall, which uses a combination of giant tubular sand bags protected by armor made up of different sized rocks."

Last, Van Oord is developing construction methodology suitable for the harsh off-shore conditions in Swansea Bay.

The Swansea is the first tidal lagoon power project envisioned by TLP, which said in May that it is considering a similar project off Wales' north coast. As much as 10,000 MW of tidal lagoon power potential in the United Kingdom, the group said.

Should permitting progress as hoped, TLP said the Swansea project could be connected to the Welsh grid in 2017.

For more ocean, tidal and stream power news, visit here.

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