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Tidal lagoon ‘more efficient than offshore’ claims Chairman of North Wales Tidal Energy

A tidal lagoon proposed off the Conwy and Denbighshire coast will be more efficient than the current offshore wind farms, claims the man at the helm of the project.

The North Wales coast has also been hailed as the one of the best sites in the world for such a scheme.

The North Wales Tidal Energy company is lobbying the UK and Welsh governments for £50m of funding.

If secured, the £50m can then fund an environmental impact assessment before government funding and private investment will be sought.

The lagoon already has the official backing of both Conwy and Denbighshire councils and could be capable of generating enough electricity to power every home in Wales.

The lagoon will take 10 years to build but, once operational, is estimated to generate around £500m a year. The lagoon would be one of only three of its type in the world. Similar lagoons exist in both South Korea and France.

Henry Dixon is the chairman and a founding member of the North Wales Tidal Energy company and said the lagoon was far more efficient at producing energy than the current offshore wind farms.

“The lagoon will provide electricity day in, day out, week in, week out,” he said.

“When you have got a period when the wind isn’t blowing, (with a tidal lagoon) you have still got a supply coming in reliably. That power will be there day in and day out for the next 120 years.

“A wind farm lasts for 25 or 30 years, and then you have to take it down and build a new one, so during the life of the tidal lagoon, a wind farm would have been built three or four times.”

He added: “There is a lagoon in France that has been running for 50 years. It provides the cheapest electricity in Europe. There are only two in the world, one in France and one in Korea. But the west coast of the UK happens to have the best site in the world for this kind of concept. We have a sloping coast and a really good tidal range, and North Wales happens to be the best of the best.”

Last week a spokeswoman for Conwy County Council said the authority was very supportive of a tidal lagoon, citing the potential for both economic and environmental benefits, stating it welcomed Welsh Government financial support.

Denbighshire County Council also agreed and said a group of councillors would be put together to monitor and evaluate the project’s progress after the forthcoming elections.

Natural Resources Wales said it was aware of the project and would continue to engage with the applicant.

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