THE possibility of building a tidal lagoon system in North Devon similar to that proposed in Swansea will be discussed by North Devon Council tonight.
Councillor Malcolm Wilkinson has put in a notice of motion requesting the council considers the environmental and economic regeneration opportunities that could be achieved through a tidal lagoon.
It comes after an offshore wind farm scheme called the Atlantic Array was thrown out by the developers who declared the project was not economically viable.
“I was part of the group that was against the Atlantic Array,” said councillor Wilkinson.
“The technology was inappropriate for the area and secondly I was against it because of the potential impact it would have had both visually and on tourism.”
Councillor Wilkinson said he read a piece in the Journal from Alan Rayner talking about the potential of tidal lagoons.
“He made some good points,” he said. “What we cannot do is close our eyes to the need for renewable energy. We need to look at sources that are suitable for our area and all I am saying is let’s open dialogue and debate on the suitability of a scheme like the one at Swansea.”
A note accompanying the notice of motion explains what a tidal lagoon is, describing it as a harbour-type structure closing off a tidal sea and incorporating hydro turbines through which the sea moves to generate electricity.
The note also included a comment from Nick Harvey, North Devon MP, who said: “Now is the time to look at the future of energy projects in the Bristol Channel.
“It was positive to hear MP’s on the Energy Select Committee recognise last year that a series of smaller scale tidal lagoons has the potential to provide a lower impact, longer-term option in the Severn Estuary.”
The notice of motion is due to be discussed at a full council meeting tonight.