Tidal Lagoon Power (TLP), the company behind the project, has today submitted plans for a 240MW tidal lagoon.
The 5,000 page application will now be reviewed by the Planning Inspectorate before public examination, and then a final determination will be made by the energy secretary.
The £850 million project would see a six-mile-long seawall, built from Swansea docks to near Swansea University’s new Fabian Way campus, and it would house 16 turbines.
TLP said the lagoon would take two years to build and hopes it could be operational as soon as 2018.
Mark Shorrock, chief executive of TLP, said: “The UK has the second highest tidal range in the world and today we are submitting an application for a development that will prove that this resource can be harnessed in a way that makes economic, environmental and social sense.”
He added that the Swansea Bay tidal lagoon would represent the first of a kind for this technology and that subsequent developments would be cheaper and could result in tidal power generating 10 per cent of the UK’s electricity needs.
Shorrock added: “A second lagoon will require a lower level of support than offshore wind, for a renewable power supply that is both long-lived and certain.
“A third lagoon will be competitive with the support received by new nuclear, but comes without the decommissioning costs and safety concerns.”