The tidal la­goon scheme

Countryfile Magazine - - Gardens -

A 9km U-shaped break­wa­ter would be built across Swansea Bay, cre­at­ing a la­goon. At lower states of the tide, the tidal la­goon looks like a typ­i­cal rub­ble mound break­wa­ter, of the type usu­ally seen around mari­nas or har­bours. At high tide it is more or less sub­merged.

As tides rise and fall the la­goon would fill and empty. Gates would hold back the water from en­ter­ing or leav­ing un­til the op­ti­mal point. Once opened the water would rush though the gates, turn­ing a bank of 16 six-me­tre tall hy­dro tur­bines in the break­wa­ter to gen­er­ate 350mw of elec­tric­ity – enough for 150,000 homes.

The tur­bines would gen­er­ate elec­tric­ity both when the tide ebbs and flows. The Bris­tol Chan­nel is favoured be­cause of its un­usu­ally high tidal range, which at 15m is among the high­est on the planet.

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