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Engineering consultancy appointed for UK tidal energy project

18 April 2013

Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay (TLSB) has appointed KGAL to provide design, mechanical and electrical consultancy services for the proposed 250MW Swansea Bay hydrokinetic lagoon scheme. The £650 million project will use tidal swells in the Severn Estuary to power a number of hydro turbines installed in the lagoon's walls.

The hydrokinetic scheme will supply the whole of Swansea with low carbon electricity
The hydrokinetic scheme will supply the whole of Swansea with low carbon electricity

TLSB says it is the first of its kind in the world. A timeline on TLSB's website shows the group anticipates submitting an application to the Planning Inspectorate later this year, with a consent decision expected by the end of 2014. 

Construction could begin as early as 2015 and, if it goes ahead, the proposed power plant should harness enough energy to generate over 400GW per year, enough to power over 100,000 homes, the population of Swansea, with low carbon, renewable electricity for up to 100 years, by 2017.

To reduce its environmental impact, the wall of the lagoon will be made from locally sourced dredged materials drawn from a relatively thin layer of the sea bed within the lagoon, which are then hydraulically filled into long geotextile casings known as Geotubes.

"We are well placed in the development design team since we are able to provide the full mechanical and electrical design spectrum in-house, including gates, turbines, generators, control systems, transmission and connection -- part of our 'water-to-wire' strategy," KGAL managing director Ken Grubb said.

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