The long-standing row over the troubled Swansea Tidal Lagoon project is set to reignite today as MPs gather to scrutinise the project’s costs while a rival developer claims its project could be half the price. Mark Sharrock, the boss of developer Tidal Lagoon Power, is braced for questioning from a joint select committee hearing this morning which hopes to thrash out the reasons behind a five year political stalemate over whether to support the £1.3bn project. Meanwhile, Mr Sharrock’s long-time industry rival has put forward competing plans ahead of the hearing for a pair of tidal lagoon projects at half the cost of constructing the Swansea project. David Davies, the welsh affairs committee chair, said there are still “serious questions” to be asked about the value for money of the project, and its environmental impacts , even after the project won favour in an independent review by former energy minister Charles Hendry two years ago. The Swansea plan has the enthusiastic backing of many Welsh MPs who believe the clean power project, and its proposed follow-on venture near Cardiff, will bring an economic boom to the area. But others have balked at the developer’s call to be paid £89.90 for every mega-watt hour of electricity produced from the relatively untested technology over its entire 90-year lifespan. Dale Vince, the unconventional green industrialist behind Ecotricity, claims that his rival projects at Solway Firth on the Scottish border will have “superior economics” and the same generation capacity as Swansea. The owner of Britain’s first vegan football team is a long-time critic of the Swansea project, which he has branded “hideously expensive”, and has called for an “open competitive process” in which the pair can vie for funding.
Telegraph 8th May 2018 read more »