February 5 (Renewables Now) - The Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon project in Wales, which the UK government refused to support in mid-2018, may still go ahead with the help of corporate power purchase agreements (PPAs) and floating solar panels.
The Guardian said Monday, citing the company behind the project, that Land Securities (LON:LAND), Cardiff Airport and Berkeley Group (LON:BKG) are on the list of parties interested in purchasing power from the tidal lagoon.
The Swansea Bay scheme has been described as a "pathfinder" project that could open the way to larger tidal lagoons in the UK. Tidal Lagoon Power got a development consent order in 2015 and it fought hard for a contract for difference (CfD). However, the UK government in June 2018 gave the thumbs-down to the GBP-1.3-billion (USD 1.7bn/EUR 1.5bn) project as it would be too costly.
Tidal Lagoon Power will aim to agree enough PPAs in 2019 to be able to make a final investment decision (FID) early next year, the Guardian said. It is discussing contracts with big energy consumers in the telecoms, manufacturing and other sectors. The company has also devised a plan to easily boost the tidal lagoon’s output to roughly 770 GWh, from 572 GWh in previous calculations, by adding floating solar panels, according to the report.
The volume of corporate PPAs for green energy capacity in 2018 reached the record 13.4 GW, according to a recent report by BloombergNEF (BNEF). This is more than double the contracted capacity in the previous year when PPAs for 6.1 GW were signed.