Intertek to deliver hydrodynamic modeling for Tidal Lagoon Challenge

As a part of the Welsh Government’s Tidal Lagoon Challenge, London-based Intertek has won a research project to deliver hydrodynamic modeling expertise.

Source: Marine Energy Wales

The Tidal Lagoon Challenge aims to assess tidal lagoons’ advantages and address, reduce, and/or remove obstacles to development in Wales.

Intertek, in collaboration with the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult, Cardiff University, and Western Gateway, will assess the value of developing tidal range power in the Flexible Lagoon Operation for Maximal Value (FLOMax) research project.

“We are enthusiastic about collaborating on the FLOMax project, which will be instrumental in assessing the role that tidal lagoons could play within our changing energy landscape,” said Matthew Allmark, Lecturer at Cardiff University.

“We seek to determine how the predictable and potentially flexible electricity generated via tidal lagoons can support our shifting and expanding grid infrastructure, which will be essential when making the case for investing in this sustainable energy source.”

Though techniques for tapping into tidal range energy have been around for a while, there are currently no operational tidal lagoon projects worldwide. 

Past research suggests that proposed projects could yield up to 10 GW of installed capacity, equivalent to roughly 5% of UK energy use. Consequently, tidal range technologies are expected to play a crucial role in aiding the UK’s efforts to achieve its net zero goals by 2050, said Marine Energy Wales.

The research project focuses on three main objectives: modeling the flexible operation of tidal lagoons, quantifying their true long-term economic value, and offering recommendations for policy support.

“We are delighted to have won this exciting and much-needed research project in such an important sector. This research aims to demonstrate the benefits of tidal lagoon development in Wales – and elsewhere – and reduce some of the uncertainties that have hindered previous projects,” said Paul Evans, Principal Consultant at Intertek. 

Intertek will model various tidal lagoon configurations to gauge their power potential over their expected lifespan of approximately 100 to 200 years. The results will yield annual yield estimates for each scheme. 

This data will be utilized by Cardiff University to assess the economic value of tidal lagoons, aiding in the justification of tidal lagoon projects through economic and financial analysis, alongside other evaluation approaches, said Marine Energy Wales.

The FLOMax project is among three initiatives awarded a portion of the £750,000 funding pool, whose winners were revealed by the Welsh government back in March 2024.

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