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Falling offshore wind costs contribute to Swansea tidal lagoon cancellation

Government ended months of speculation yesterday with the news that it will not back the Swansea Bay tidal lagoon project on the basis that it does not provide value for money compared to alternatives.

Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Greg Clark said that power generated by the £1.3bn project over 60 years would cost around £400M for offshore wind at today’s prices.

He added that government expected offshore wind to be cheaper still in the future.

“At £1.3bn, the capital cost per unit of electricity generated each year would be three times that of the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station,” said Clark in his statement to parliament.

“If a full programme of six lagoons were constructed, the Hendry Review found that the cost would be more than £50bn, and be two and a half times the cost of Hinkley to generate a similar output of electricity.

“Enough offshore wind to provide the same generation as a programme of lagoons is estimated to cost at least £31.5bn less to build.”

Ground investigation for the scheme was undertaken by Atkins and Socotec in 2016 and the scheme was expected to involve construction of a 9.5km long seawall between the mouth of the River Tawe and Crmlyn Burrows to create an 11.5km2 lagoon.

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