A dragon-shaped island made from up to 10,000 floating homes would put Swansea “on the global stage”, according to the innovator behind the project.
Dragon Energy Island – shaped to resemble the dragon from the Welsh national flag – has been proposed as part of the city’s revived tidal lagoon project which was scrapped by the UK Government last year.
Concept images have been released of the floating island, which could also include retail units, an underwater data centre, a solar farm, and facilities to produce pure hydrogen and oxygen for storage or for sale.
The proposal says giant underwater turbines could generate zero-carbon power for Swansea and beyond for more than a century.
Malcolm Copson, the innovator behind the project from Hong Kong-based company MOI Imagineering, said the inclusion of up to 10,000 floating homes would make the revised tidal lagoon scheme financially viable.
The Government cited cost grounds after it refused to back a previous lagoon project in Swansea Bay designed to generate clean energy from the tides.
Mr Copson, who also helped deliver Disneyland Paris and the Atlantis the Palm resort on Dubai’s famous artificial Palm Jumeirah, said: “There are already several examples of floating, modular home developments across the planet – including Holland, which is below sea level and has a similar climate to Swansea Bay. This is the way the world is going.
“But many plans for similar developments – in cities like New Orleans in the USA, for example – are still on the drawing board, so Swansea has a chance to lead the world and develop an export industry of global significance that will create thousands of jobs for local people.
“This is a signature project that would put Swansea on the global stage as a visionary city.”
Mr Copson said houses would float on giant platforms and be protected by a sea wall, with “innovative solutions” planned for sewage and waste.
An independent report into the feasibility of the project will be considered by the Swansea Bay City Region’s Joint Committee on Tuesday.
Those behind the project hope construction could start in 2021, with the island potentially fully operational by the end of 2026.