Cardiff to explore tidal lagoon prospects

City of Cardiff Council’s Cabinet will discuss the creation of the proposed £6-8 billion tidal lagoon in Cardiff Bay next week.

A report to Cabinet will on Monday, November 21, recommend that a Scrutiny Task and Finish Group should gather up independent, expert advice on the opportunities and issues that a lagoon could bring to the area, Cardiff Council said.

The Cabinet report comes as the Hendry Review, set up by UK government to independently assess the case for tidal lagoons in the UK, prepares to release its findings.

The report also recommends that in the event the project is progressed following the Hendry Review that City Council officers are authorized to undertake a detailed appraisal of the potential economic, social and environmental implications of the project for Cardiff.

Phil Bale, Leader of the City Council, said: “This is potentially an engineering and energy project of global significance yet there is limited independent information about its feasibility or practicality. Right now there has been no detailed independent, expert analysis or critical scrutiny of the Cardiff project which is of an entirely different scale to the Swansea Bay scheme.

“Clearly the Hendry Review will give an independent opinion, but this is likely to be a high-level analysis of the lagoon concept rather than a detailed critique of the Cardiff project.

“It’s important the City Council does what it can to ensure the potential issues and opportunities are fully understood. We have time now to gather up independent evidence so we can have an informed view on tidal lagoons and the effect one this size could have on Cardiff and the surrounding area.”

Officers would also be authorized to engage with Tidal Lagoon Power, the company behind the scheme, or any other potential developer, to understand more fully the public benefit which would be offered to offset any potential risks, according to the Council.

“A project of this scale could offer many opportunities, creating thousands of jobs, delivering low carbon energy, and enhancing regeneration option. It’s crucial we ensure we have independent, expert advice. Cardiff wants to take part in any decision. We want to look carefully at all the potential benefits,” concluded Bale.

The proposed lagoon, between Cardiff and Newport, is expected to have the capacity between 1.8 and 2.8GW, with the annual output of 4 to 6TW/h, powering approximately 1.5 million households in the UK.