Quantcast

Ocean Tides to Power More Than 150,000 Homes

Business

While the power plant below looks more like a gorgeous get-away than a solution to man’s energy needs, its benefits extend far beyond its beauty. As Reconstruct reports, the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon will use the rise and fall of ocean tides to generate enough renewable electricity to power 155,000 homes for 120 years.

The Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon will use the rise and fall of ocean tides to generate enough renewable electricity to power 155,000 homes for 120 years. Photo credit: Juice Architects

Though not completed at present, when the structure is finished, it will produce enough electricity to displace more than a quarter million barrels of oil each year—while leaving virtually no carbon footprint.

Power plants have been generating electricity from the oceans’ tides since 1966, but the Swansea Lagoon is the first to employ a radically new method.

How Does It Work? 

It’s nearly six-mile-long barrier wall will enclose a huge amount of water in an artificial “tidal lagoon.” This lagoon captures and holds seawater at high tide. As the tide goes out, water in the 4.5 square mile lagoon will be as much as 27 feet higher than the water outside its walls. This immense pressure will be routed through 26 turbines, flooding out to sea until the water level equalizes on both sides of the lagoon.

The flow is reversed at high tide, keeping the sea out of the lagoon until it reaches maximum height. Then water is let go, so it may rush through the turbines until it again fills up the lagoon.

To put it into perspective, the amount of water rushing through the turbines would fill 100,000 Olympic swimming pools each day.

The Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon will crank out clean energy as well as be used as a sports arena, aquaculture farm and seaside sculpture garden, reports GoodNewsNetwork. Its aquaculture farm will grow oysters, kelp and other local sea crops.

In addition, the lagoon can be used as a giant arena for sailing and cycling sports.

The designers of the fabulous structure plan to implement sculptures that appear to disappear into the water or rise out of it as the tides roll in and out.

Photo credit: Preconstruct

Its location at Swansea, Wales was chosen because it has some of the highest tide differences in the U.K. This will maximize the amount of water that can be used to turn turbines and generate the 420-gigawatt hours per year.

Plans for the structure were approved by the UK Energy Ministry in June, and construction is expected to begin sometime in 2017.

The builders are presently bargaining to exchange the $1.5 billion price tag (subsidized by the government for 35 years) for approval on two more tidal lagoon plants at Cardiff and Newport.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Larry David as Bernie Sanders on Saturday Night Live: ‘We Need a Revolution’

Bill McKibben Gets Arrested Exposing Exxon’s ‘Unparalleled Evil’

The World’s Largest Earth Science Experiment: Biosphere 2

Lawsuits Mount Against Monsanto’s ‘Cancer-Causing’ Weedkiller

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, who was appointed by President Gerald Ford in 1975, was presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama on May 29, 2012. MANDEL NGAN / AFP / GettyImages

John Paul Stevens, the retired Supreme Court Justice who wrote the opinion granting environmental agencies the power to regulate greenhouse gases, died Tuesday at the age of 99. His decision gave the U.S. government important legal tools for fighting the climate crisis.

Read More Show Less
EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler signs the so-called Affordable Clean Energy rule on June 19, replacing the Obama-era Clean Power Plan that would have reduced coal-fired plant carbon emissions. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency / Twitter

By Elliott Negin

On July 8, President Trump hosted a White House event to unabashedly tout his truly abysmal environmental record. The following day, coincidentally, marked the one-year anniversary of Andrew Wheeler at the helm of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), first as acting administrator and then as administrator after the Senate confirmed him in late February.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Golde Wallingford submitted this photo of "Pure Joy" to EcoWatch's first photo contest. Golde Wallingford

EcoWatch is pleased to announce our third photo contest!

Read More Show Less
A timber sale in the Kaibab National Forest. Dyan Bone / Forest Service / Southwestern Region / Kaibab National Forest

By Tara Lohan

If you're a lover of wilderness, wildlife, the American West and the public lands on which they all depend, then journalist Christopher Ketcham's new book is required — if depressing — reading.

Read More Show Less
Somalians fight against hunger and lack of water due to drought as Turkish Ambassador to Somalia, Olgan Bekar (not seen) visits the a camp near the Mogadishu's rural side in Somalia on March 25, 2017. Sadak Mohamed / Anadolu Agency / Getty Images

World hunger is on the rise for the third consecutive year after decades of decline, a new United Nations (UN) report says. The climate crisis ranks alongside conflict as the top cause of food shortages that force more than 821 million people worldwide to experience chronic hunger. That number includes more than 150 million children whose growth is stunted due to a lack of food.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Eduardo Velev cools off in the spray of a fire hydrant during a heatwave on July 1, 2018 in Philadelphia. Jessica Kourkounis / Getty Images

By Adrienne L. Hollis

Because extreme heat is one of the deadliest weather hazards we currently face, Union of Concerned Scientist's Killer Heat Report for the U.S. is the most important document I have read. It is a veritable wake up call for all of us. It is timely, eye-opening, transparent and factual and it deals with the stark reality of our future if we do not make changes quickly (think yesterday). It is important to ensure that we all understand it. Here are 10 terms that really help drive home the messages in the heat report and help us understand the ramifications of inaction.

Read More Show Less
Senator Graham returns after playing a round of golf with Trump on Oct. 14, 2017 in Washington, DC. Ron Sachs – Pool / Getty Images

Lindsey Graham, the South Carolina Senate Republican who has been a close ally of Donald Trump, did not mince words last week on the climate crisis and what he thinks the president needs to do about it.

Read More Show Less
A small Bermuda cedar tree sits atop a rock overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. todaycouldbe / iStock / Getty Images Plus

By Marlene Cimons

Kyle Rosenblad was hiking a steep mountain on the island of Maui in the summer of 2015 when he noticed a ruggedly beautiful tree species scattered around the landscape. Curious, and wondering what they were, he took some photographs and showed them to a friend. They were Bermuda cedars, a species native to the island of Bermuda, first planted on Maui in the early 1900s.

Read More Show Less