TLP: Tidal lagoons review welcome. Should not be substitute for action

R to L: Mark Shorrock; David Cameron (Photo: TLP)
R to L: Mark Shorrock; David Cameron (Photo: TLP)

Following the UK government’s announcement of tidal lagoons review, Tidal Lagoon Power welcomed the news, but also called for immediate start of works on the Swansea Bay tidal lagoon, if tidal lagoon power at scale is to be a real option for the long term.

Mark Shorrock, CEO of Tidal Lagoon Power, said: “There is vast potential for tidal lagoon power to provide cheap long-term renewable energy at scale and to be taken formally into national policy. This is a huge step from the UK Government and a clear signal that it sees potential advantage for the UK energy consumer in very long-dated tidal energy infrastructure assets.”

Continuing, Shorrock expressed concern about the continuing delay in considering the demonstration first-of-a-kind tidal lagoon for the UK.

He said: “It is imperative that we conclude our structuring and commercial negotiation with Government within the next 6 weeks. This is entirely possible; the review should not impact the finalisation of our commercial discussions. To unlock the potential of tidal lagoon power, we need investment in a demonstration project that will grow the supply chain and build investor confidence that an exceptionally long term project can go forward in today’s UK electricity market.

“The project planned for Swansea Bay is ready to go now. We have built a team, secured planning permission, secured equity sponsors, prepared a delivery team and a supply chain. We have received overwhelming support for this project locally, nationally and internationally.

“If tidal lagoon power at scale is to be a real option for the longer term, we need to start work on Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon now. Otherwise the opportunity will be lost and the review will be all for nothing.”

Shorrock added that a welcome review should not be a substitute for action, and that TLP made a value-for-money proposition to UK government.

“We have made a value-for-money proposition to Government. There is no reason not to press on with Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon negotiations. We have proposed an equivalent CfD strike price for the 320 MW Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon below that of offshore wind. Our structure has a subsidy that reduces over time, meaning that for around half of the proposed 90-year contract, the lagoon pays money to Government.”

“We look forward to continuing to work with Government on the delivery of this vision, including on the most efficient financial support structures for tidal lagoons. But we will be pushing for Government support to demonstrate the potential of tidal lagoon power by giving the go-ahead for the Swansea Bay project, thereby avoiding the still birth of a game-changer for UK energy and UK industry”, concluded Shorrock.