A £1.7bn project placing Wales at the forefront of renewable energy innovation has been revealed by an international consortium.
The ambitious project proposed for Swansea’s waterfront refloats stalled tidal lagoon renewable energy plans, featuring underwater turbines generating 320 megawatts from a 9.5km structure.
It will also feature 1,500 waterfront homes as well as 150 floating homes in the bay, a major floating solar array and major battery storage facility.
The revived lagoon plan is part of the larger proposed Blue Eden project that’s being led by Bridgend-based DST Innovations and a number of business partners, with support from Swansea Council and Associated British Ports.
Made possible by funding from the private sector, the innovative and economy-boosting Blue Eden will be delivered in three phases over 12 years.
Blue Eden project
- A 60,000 sq m manufacturing plant to make high-tech batteries for renewable energy storage
- A battery facility to store the renewable energy produced at Blue Eden and power the site. If constructed now, it would be the world’s largest facility of its kind
- A 72,000 sq m floating solar array anchored in the Queen’s dock area
- A 94,000 sq m data centre storing, processing and providing network capabilities for the critical services
- An oceanic and climate change research centre
- Floating dome structures that will become cultural and scientific centres to be enjoyed by all
- Residential waterfront homes for 5,000 people
- Around 150 floating, highly energy-efficient eco-homes anchored in the water
All the project’s buildings and facilities, including the eco-homes, will be situated alongside the lagoon.
Renewable energy produced on site will power the entire Blue Eden development, including businesses and homes.
Due to the innovation on-site, each home will have up to 20 years’ renewable energy and heat provision included with the sale of the properties.
Tony Miles, Co-founder and Chief Executive of DST Innovations, said: “Blue Eden is an opportunity to create a template for the world to follow – utilising renewable energy and maximising new technologies and thinking to develop not only a place to live and work, but also to thrive.”
The project has been developed following discussions based on a vision put forward by a regional task force led by Swansea Council.
Cllr Rob Stewart, Swansea Council Leader, said: “Blue Eden will put Swansea and Wales at the cutting-edge of global renewable energy innovation, helping create thousands of well-paid jobs, significantly cut our carbon footprint and further raise Swansea’s profile across the world as a place to invest.
“I’m delighted that an international consortium led by a Welsh company has developed our Dragon Energy Island vision into a ground-breaking project that delivers so many benefits and builds on the council’s ambition to become a net zero city by 2050.
“This project truly is a game-changer for Swansea, its economy and renewable energy in the UK, and crucially it can be delivered without the need for government subsidies.”
Andrew Harston, Director of Wales and Short Sea Ports for ABP, said: “We are engaged in discussions around the Blue Eden project which could deliver renewable energy, new homes and skilled jobs. This innovative prototype has the potential to be a first for the UK and bring Britain closer to our net zero target.”
Subject to planning consent, Blue Eden work on site could start by early 2023.
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