Alstom to Build Swansea Bay Tidal Turbines (UK)

Alstom to Build Swansea Bay Tidal Turbines (UK)

Alstom, a world leading developer and manufacturer of the full range of hydro products and services, including turbines, generators, control systems, hydro-mechanical equipment and balance-of-plant, has signed an MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) with Tidal Lagoon Power Limited to design and build the generating units required to power the world’s first tidal lagoon in Swansea Bay, Wales.

With over 100 years of relevant experience in Bulb, Kaplan and Propeller units, including specific tidal projects, Alstom will work in partnership with Tidal Lagoon Power to create an optimal solution for the low head tidal lagoon application.

Capable of generating electricity equivalent to Swansea’s entire domestic consumption, the proposed 250MW power plant in Swansea Bay will produce predictable, baseload electricity for up to 16 hours each day, using both the ebb and flood tides. It will save over 200,000 tonnes of CO2 per year for its design life of over 100 years. A community share offer will be launched shortly.

The project represents an investment of £650 million, and according to Tidal Lagoon Power, the development company behind the scheme, is a significant opportunity for Wales to take the lead in the tidal industry for the UK. The power plant could be connected to the National Grid and be ‘power ready’ in 2017.

Steve Burgin, Vice President Sales Northern & Central Europe for Alstom’s Power Generation division, said: “Tidal Lagoon Power is creating a leadership position in development, financing and operation of utility scale tidal lagoon power projects. We will be working with the company on the development of a series of tidal lagoons. Our aim is to optimise a turbine design for maximum power output from lowest production cost before manufacturing the turbines and generators required.”

Ton Fijen, Technical Director for Tidal Lagoon Power adds: “Our vision is to deliver 10,000MW of power from the tidal range in the UK and thus change the energy mix to home-grown, low carbon energy that creates local jobs, cheap power and local long term amenities for the communities who host the lagoons. We know that there is an available 10,000 MW of potential sites in the UK alone that are suitable for tidal lagoon development. The Swansea project will hopefully be the first in a network of lagoons around the UK coastline, driving a critical change in our energy mix with low cost, low carbon electricity sources that are sustainable long-term.”

“Detailed plans for the lagoon are now being finalised prior to beginning formal consultation in summer 2013. Our intention, subject to design readiness, is to submit an application for development consent to the Planning Inspectorate in the late autumn of 2013. Announcing our partnership with Alstom is another step forward as we progress towards planning.”

Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon is being promoted and developed by Tidal Lagoon Power Limited (TLP). TLP’s focus is the development of a series of tidal lagoons to generate renewable energy from the rise and fall of the considerable tidal range to be found in Welsh and UK waters.


Press release, May 31, 2013; Image: tidallagoonswanseabay