Swansea lagoon delay looms as NRW and TLP dispute continues

Artist’s Impression – Swansea Bay tidal lagoon (Image: TLP)

The construction of the Swansea Bay tidal lagoon could face a possible delay as Tidal Lagoon Power (TLP) and Natural Resources Wales (NRW) disagree on the effects the project could have on the fish in the area.

Namely, the developer behind the lagoon, TLP, is disputing the NRW’s figures which suggest the lagoon would kill 21% of salmon and 25% of sea trout every year, stating that computer modelling conducted by experts on TLP’s behalf estimated the lagoon killing 2% of all species of fish as the worst case scenario, BBC reports.

TLP sent a briefing to Welsh Assembly Members deeming the scenarios predicted by the UK government’s regulator body in charge of issuing the marine license, NRW, as ‘unrealistic and grossly misleading’, according to South Wales Evening Post, which further reports that if the NRW denies the license for the Swansea Bay tidal lagoon, TLP could legally challenge the decision, which could result in a public inquiry taking around two years.

Responding to TLP’s statement, Gareth O’Shea, Executive Director of Operations South for NRW, said:

“We are very surprised and disappointed by the content of Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon’s statement, the statistics used and their description of our data. We disagree strongly with their interpretation and the points raised.”

The proposed Swansea Bay tidal lagoon

Swansea Bay tidal lagoon was granted the planning consent last year, but it still needs the marine license from the NRW for marine works to start, as ‘the marine licensing process ensures that the impact of developments on the environment is minimized’, NRW states.

“We have received a vast amount of evidence on this subject from the applicant and have held detailed discussions with the developer for a year-and-a-half where we have shared a huge amount of information, data and our methodology,” O’Shea added.

“This data should not be a surprise to the company. This has been assessed by independent experts and our own technical experts and we have the utmost confidence that it is the best evidence available to enable us to make the right decision for the environment in Wales, as we are legally bound to do.”

If constructed, the 320MW Swansea Bay tidal lagoon could provide power for 90% of homes in the Swansea Bay area.

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