Quantcast
Business

Ocean Tides to Power More Than 150,000 Homes

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

Show Comments ()

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Sponsored
Energy
International Energy Agency

The IEA Comes up Short on Climate (Again)

By Greg Muttitt

The release of the World Energy Outlook (WEO) 2018 on Monday marked another missed opportunity for the International Energy Agency (IEA) to provide a roadmap to Paris success.

Governments and investors alike have been calling on the IEA to help guide them towards achievement of the Paris goals. Two years ago, the IEA itself proposed updating its climate scenario to match the ambition of the Paris goals, and also gave its updated scenarios a cameo in the WEO 2017.

Keep reading... Show less
Popular
Westend61 / Getty Images

EcoWatch Gratitude Photo Contest: Submit Now!

EcoWatch is pleased to announce its first photo contest! Show us what in nature you are most thankful for this Thanksgiving. Whether you have a love for oceans, animals, or parks, we want to see your best photos that capture what you love about this planet.

Keep reading... Show less
Business
A Zoa T-shirt made by Modern Meadow the piece was commissioned by the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. Modern Meadow

Cruelty-Free Fashion: Growing Leather Without Animals

By Lucy Goodchild van Hilten

A warehouse filled with huge gleaming silver vats hums around the clock, as billions of yeast cells work to make a material we can wear, sit on and carry around. In an adjoining room, rows of benches hold molds of different shapes and sizes, where sheets of cellulose layer up and become recognizable. In the next room, the material is finished and packaged, destined for designers, tailors and upholsterers.

Keep reading... Show less
Food
GMVozd / E+ / Getty Images

A Stress-Free Thanksgiving Menu

By Sydney Swanson

As we head into the holiday season, the marathon task of preparing a Thanksgiving dinner or even just one dish to contribute as a guest—may be stressful.

To help you combat the inevitable stress surrounding this meal, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) has put together this guide suggesting what to make yourself and what to buy, and when to go organic.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Business
Baby orangutans at the Orangutan Foundation International Care Center in Pangkalan Bun, Central Kalimantan. Expansion of oil palm plantations is destroying their forest habitat. Ulet Ifansasti / Greenpeace

Oreo Cookie Maker Linked to Orangutan Habitat Destruction for Palm Oil

Greenpeace International published a new report on Tuesday accusing Mondelēz International of sourcing palm oil from "rainforest destroyers."

Palm oil is an ingredient in many of the company's popular products, including Oreo cookies, Ritz crackers and Cadbury chocolate bars.

Keep reading... Show less
Oceans
To predict the nutrient content of fish, a new study turned to shared evolutionary history. Oceana / Eduardo Sorensen

How Nutritious Is That Fish? To Find Out, Ask Its Relatives

By Amy McDermott

Eels and anchovies don't look or act much alike. One is sinuous and shy, the other a bright flash of silver in a school of thousands. Yet the two fish are cousins, both loaded with zinc.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Politics
Democrat Kyrsten Sinema campaigning for Arizona Senate seat on Oct. 21. Bill Clark / CQ Roll Call / Getty Images

What Kyrsten Sinema’s Historic Win Could Mean for the Environment

A little less than a week after the midterm election, Democrat Kyrsten Sinema has edged out Republican Martha McSally to become Arizona's first female Senator and the first openly bisexual member of Congress, The Guardian reported. She is the first Democrat to win an Arizona Senate seat since 1976.

Keep reading... Show less
Climate
California fires seen from NASA's Terra satellite. Image taken Nov. 9, 2018. NASA

42 Dead in California's Camp Fire, Deadliest in State History

The Camp Fire in Northern California is not only the most destructive in state's modern history, it's also the deadliest.

The death toll climbed to 42 as of Monday, according to Cal Fire.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored

mail-copy

The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!