University leaders in Swansea are hailing the £1.7bn Blue Eden development as a transformational project that will secure the city’s standing as a globally significant centre for innovation in renewable energy.
A 9.5km tidal lagoon structure forms part of the Blue Eden project, which will include state-of-the-start underwater turbines generating 320 megawatts of renewable energy.
Blue Eden is being led by Bridgend-based DST Innovations and business partners, with support from Swansea Council and Associated British Ports.
Made possible by funding from the private sector, the project will be delivered in three phases over 12 years.
It also includes a manufacturing plant to make high-tech batteries for renewable energy storage, along with a battery storage facility to store the renewable energy produced at Blue Eden and power the site.
A floating solar array will also feature, along with a data centre, an ocean and climate change research centre, residential waterfront homes and about 150 floating, highly energy-efficient eco-homes anchored in the water.
Blue Eden will create over 2,500 permanent jobs and support a further 16,000 jobs across Wales and the UK, while creating additional jobs during its construction.
Welsh business leaders have already spoken out to give their backing to the project.
Professor Paul Boyle, Vice-Chancellor of Swansea University, said: “Swansea University supports the ambitions of the Blue Eden initiative, which will secure our city’s standing as a globally significant centre for innovation in renewable energy and green infrastructure.
“This project complements our University’s research strengths in decarbonisation, renewable energy and data science. Building upon our long-standing partnership with Swansea Council, we welcome opportunities to provide the research, training and skills development which will underpin local economic growth.”
Professor Medwin Hughes, Vice Chancellor of the University of Wales Trinity Saint David, said: “This transformational project will have significant impact by creating high-value jobs across the region.
“The university, as a key partner, looks forward to supporting this venture in developing and delivering higher technical skills which will support the emerging technology and companies associated with Blue Eden.
“This holistic approach to regeneration will place Swansea as an international centre of excellence for green research, innovation and sustainable thinking.”
Blue Eden will be sited along an extensive area of land and water, to the south of the Prince of Wales Dock in the SA1 area of Swansea.
All the project’s buildings and facilities, including the eco-homes, will be situated alongside the lagoon and will utilise and enhance the existing land in the area.
The energy generated by the lagoon and solar array will be used on site, but there is also scope for 32% of it to be exported onto the grid for the benefit of local residents and businesses. The amount of green energy consumed by the Blue Eden development will also save a significant amount of energy being taken from the grid in future.
Subject to planning consent, Blue Eden work on site could start by early 2023.
(Lead image: DST)
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