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Swansea renewable energy project plans worth £4bn reach final stages

Credit: DST Innovations

Major plans set to place Swansea at the forefront of global renewable energy innovation are about to take a big step forward.

Swansea Council is in the final stages of agreeing to lease a number of sites to DST Innovations – the company leading on the estimated £4bn Swansea port development project formerly known as Blue Eden that’s being funded by the private sector.

Credit: DST Innovations

The exciting plans could include:

  • Expanding the Fabian Way park and ride site to create a green energy transport hub to potentially include a hydrogen manufacturing station for hydrogen-powered transport, an abundance of electric vehicle charging points, and restaurants and flexible working areas for visitors to enjoy.
  • Expanding on approved solar farm plans at the former Tir John landfill site to create one of the UK’s largest solar energy generating facilities.
  • A new manufacturing facility on the former Morrissey Site in SA1 to make high-tech batteries that would store the renewable energy generated by the project and for worldwide distribution.

Other elements of the development include a tidal lagoon, a floating solar facility, a hyper-scale data centre powered by renewable energy, an oceanic and climate change research centre, energy-efficient eco-homes anchored in the water, and a new district heating system using renewable energy. The development would also act as a catalyst for further innovation in renewable technology.

DST Innovations is in ongoing discussions to assemble the land required to complete the development. The project is estimated to be worth £114m a year to the Swansea economy once operational while creating up to 2,500 full-time jobs.

The proposals have been developed following the UK Government’s decision in 2018 not to support plans for a tidal lagoon in Swansea. Since that time the council has been working on finding a solution with DST and its partners to develop a private sector-funded scheme.

Cllr Rob Stewart, Swansea Council Leader, said: “We have ambitions to transform our economy and become a net zero city by 2050.

“These proposals will help us deliver on both ambitions. It will bring jobs and a massive economic boost to Swansea and will help us reduce our carbon footprint and help tackle the climate emergency. The proposed lagoon would also help deal with future flood risks for Swansea and SA1.

“Huge progress is being made on this development, and the proposed land deals will ensure work can begin to make Swansea a global powerhouse for renewable energy innovation.”

Tony Miles, of DST Innovations, said: “We are incredibly excited about the progress we have made on this ambitious project. This milestone represents a significant leap forward, made possible by the collaborative efforts of Swansea Council, our exceptional team, and our world-leading partners. Their unparalleled knowledge, innovation, and unwavering support have been instrumental in driving us towards success.”

An international consortium of major companies is already on board to help deliver the project. Engineering and construction giants HDR and infrastructure solution specialists Enable are among the firms already signed up, along with Ascona Group, one of the UK’s fastest growing forecourt operators, and Siemens, a global technology company focused on electrification and digitisation for industry, infrastructure, and transportation.