Even Mining Magnates Get Excited Over Wave and Tidal Power

6545Swansea Bay,  beach located in the southern part of Wales in the UK, will soon be the site of a six-mile sea wall complete with 16 underwater turbines.

The project, started by a company called Tidal Lagoon Power, will generate enough electricity to power 155,000 homes and create 1,900 new construction job. The project will cost £1bn and is partially funded by the government. That makes it all the more surprising that anyone who describes environmentalists as “a pain in the arse” would approve of the project, but Tyrone O’Sullivan is excited about the future of wave and tidal power.

While O’Sullivan serves as chairman of a mining company and was once the branch secretary for the National Union of Mineworkers, he says, “[t]he scheme will be spectacular” in an interview with The Guardian’s Terry Macalister. He explains that he is not as optimistic about wind energy and that he “hates” the way low energy prices drive down the price of coal, but he is excited for his granddaughter, and what the tidal lagoon will bring to the Swansea area.

The project will take three years to complete, and many are worried that the government will withdraw its funding for the project as was rumored in the Daily Mail. Mark Shorrock, the chief executive at Tidal Lagoon Power, is particularly worried that the project will lose funding. Shorrock has already spent £26m, with £7m from his own pocket, according to him, and he also fervently believes that the Swansea Bay project, along with his future plans to build similar lagoons in Cardiff and Newport, could drop the price of electricity to below £100 per MW/hour.

Shorrock told The Guardian that he would like the Swansea Bay wave and tidal power project complete between 2910 and 2020 and that his plans in Cardiff and Newport will hopefully be complete by 2022-2023.

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