DST LEADS SWANSEA’S £1.7BN RENEWABLE ENERGY PROJECT THAT INCLUDES DATA CENTRE
PRESS RELEASE: DST Innovations, a Bridgend company, is leading plans to build a £1.7bn renewable energy project on Swansea's waterfront.
The Blue Eden scheme includes a tidal lagoon and floating solar panels.
This is the third proposal to develop a tidal lagoon in Swansea Bay, and would include a battery factory and a data centre run on renewable energy.
No tax payers' money would be needed, according to the consortium, but consent will be required from the Welsh government for the energy projects.
The international consortium is led by DST Innovations, which makes industrial batteries in the United States.
Blue Eden would be developed in three phases over twelve years, starting in 2023 with 1,000 jobs making high tech batteries for energy storage.
That would be followed by construction of a floating solar energy farm in the Queens Dock area and large data centre powered by an uninterruptable source of renewable energy, which would be a UK first.
The heat generated by the computer servers in the centre would then heat 5,000 new eco-homes along the waterfront.
There would also be an oceanic and climate change research centre and 150 floating houses, as seen in the Netherlands.
The project hopes to support 16,000 jobs across the Swansea Bay city region in the long term.
Swansea council's leader Rob Stewart said: “I'm delighted that an international consortium led by a Welsh company has developed our Dragon Energy Island vision into a ground-breaking project that delivers so many benefits and builds on the council's ambition to become a net zero city by 2050.
“Cooperation and support will be required, trying to make sure the permissions and the consents that are needed are in place.”
Mr Stewart explained that Blue Eden had signed a memorandum of understanding with Associated British Ports and were in discussions with them about acquiring land.
The projected energy output of the tidal lagoon and floating solar panels are just under 320 megawatts each, which means Welsh government would be responsible for giving consent to these elements.
Swansea council supports the project but Mr Stewart said no public money would be given to it: “Blue Eden will put Swansea and Wales at the cutting-edge of global renewable energy innovation, helping create thousands of well-paid jobs, significantly cut our carbon footprint and further raise Swansea's profile across the world as a place to invest.”
DST's co-founder and chief executive Tony Miles said: “Blue Eden is an opportunity to create a template for the world to follow – utilising renewable energy and maximising new technologies and thinking to develop not only a place to live and work, but also to thrive.”
The company added it did not any need money from either the UK or Welsh government, or a guaranteed price for the electricity, since all the electricity produced will be used within the Blue Eden development.
Mr Miles said he hoped to start building work in two years' time: “We'd like to break ground in a couple of years, once we've finalised all the studies, and some fairly major investors have injected a lot of capital into this already.
“We're hoping without too many bad statistics for future sea rises and weather forecasts, it has 120 years of life before somebody comes up with a new version.”
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