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. . . the Swansea Bay scheme would be a proof-of-concept project opening the way for a series of lagoons around the coast, costing less due to economies of scale and meeting 8% of the country’s power needs for 120 years.
We'll find out if that's true.
By employing British industry and British money to harness Great Britain’s natural resource, we will start to address our energy problems and at the same time give birth to a new phase of national industrial success.
A new generation of engineers obviously exists who treat the Severn like a blank canvas upon which structures of any orientation can be laid out without the slightest underlying appreciation of water and sediment circulations, or in particular, the quantities involved.
I write as a former government oceanographer, holder of the Telford Premium Award from the Institution of Civil Engineers for my work in this estuary and former chairman of the International Navigation Association (PIANC) expert working group on "Minimising Harbour Siltation". Neither I, nor I'm sure any of my international colleagues, would be capable of excluding fine sediment from the large enclosures envisaged in this concept.
TF: Silt build-up is an issue that has been subject to detailed and thorough investigation as part of our environmental impact assessment (EIA) work and engineering studies. It should be noted that unlike previously proposed tidal range schemes we will be operating across four quadrants (bidirectional turbining and pumping), which means that standstill periods when sediment can settle out are kept to a minimum and will be on average less than two hours. In addition, due to the residual momentum of the water within the lagoon, even during hold periods, there will always be some circulation. It is inevitable, however, that there will be sediment accretion, but designs have sought to minimise its impact and over the longer term it will be managed with maintenance dredging to maintain the water depths and tidal exchange volumes.