£200m tidal energy power station set for Wyre

Natural Energy Wyre has launched the UK’s first Estuary Tidal Barrage project spanning the river Wyre.

WyreTidalBarrierThe £200m project, one of the least expensive energy projects in Great Britain, is now moving forward after a landmark deal with the Duchy of Lancaster.

The deal, granting exclusivity rights to build a tidal barrage across the river Wyre, means that the project managed by Natural Energy Wyre is now able to move forward to the funding and planning application stage.

The Wyre Tidal Barrage, managed by Natural Energy Wyre will be the first tidal energy power station in the UK, with an installed capacity of 90MW/hr of electrical energy from a single construction being powered by predictable tidal movement. The project which has a lifespan of over 120 years will provide electricity for tens of thousands of homes in the UK and will support the National Grid and UK Government in their clean renewable energy objectives.

Bob Long, managing director of Natural Energy Wyre, said:“This is a real milestone in the project, it’s one of the most exciting stages now and gives us the green light to move forward with the next stage in developing a clean renewable energy project right here in the North West of the UK.

"It’s a project that is very close to my heart living locally and I am, along with the rest of the board of directors, completely committed to delivering the project for the benefit of all.”

The project will now move forward with securing the £10m stage one funding which is needed for full completion of the planning application with the project based on proven current turbine and energy production technologies covering the 600m span of the mouth of the river with six turbines.

It will have the benefit of an emergency vehicle access road, pedestrian and cyclist access to each side of the river, a multipurpose learning and development centre, two lock pits (one for commercial and one for leisure craft) and stunning views out to sea and down river for visitors.

The project has the support of many key stakeholders including Wyre Council, cross party support at Lancashire County Council, Arup, Lancaster University, Andritz Hydro and leading environmental consultants Hyder, as well as the Duchy of Lancaster.

Graeme Chalk, head of project management for The Duchy of Lancaster, said: “This project reflects the Duchy’s commitment to environmental sustainability and the use of renewable energy. We look forward to working with the team at Natural Energy Wyre as they take this project forward to deliver the full range of benefits proposed. Once planning and development issues have been resolved, the tidal barrage will provide a source of green and affordable energy for many years to come.”

The scheme will also have a profound impact on the surrounding area with a list of benefits including an increase in water based activities on the river, commercial investment due to carbon credit incentives for energy hungry processes, flood defence and the potential creation of thousands of jobs. The next phase is the planning process including full public consultation and then the construction stages. Full construction is anticipated to take three years before the Wyre Tidal Barrage will be fully functioning, producing renewable energy four times a day, on the turn of the tide, for over 100 years.