Natural Energy Wyre Limited, has launched the UK’s first Estuary Tidal Barrage project spanning the river Wyre from Fleetwood to Knott End.
The £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 is now able to move forward to the funding and planning application stage.
Artists impression of the proposed Wyre Tidal Barrage
The Wyre Tidal Barrage, managed by Natural Energy Wyre Limited 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.
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.
Aerial view of route of proposed Wyre Tidal Barrage
Spanning the River Wyre from Queen’s Terrace at Fleetwood, the Barrage 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 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.
- Leisure facilities including river side dining.
- Retail environments.
- Commercial investment due to carbon credit incentives for energy hungry processes.
- An anticipated 600,000 visitors per annum.
- Full pedestrian and cyclist access.
- Two lock pits for safe passage of vessels.
- Thousands of jobs.
- Renewable green energy to power tens of thousands of homes.
- Flood defence.
- Improved habitat for birds.
- Educational learning centre for primary and high school children along with University level research facilities.
- Visitor centre to explore how the barrage works and the benefits it brings.
- An emergency vehicle access road bringing peace of mind to those in the rural villages to the east of the river.
- Reduced UK dependency on energy imports increasing UK energy security
The Next Project Stage
Bob Long, Managing Director of Natural Energy Wyre Ltd said “This announcement 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 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, commented: “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.”
Bob Long explains “This is great news for all local people, on both sides of the river and beyond, a real opportunity to be involved in helping the UK become less dependent on imported energy and the burning of fossil fuels.”
Currently the UK Government have a commitment to deliver 15% of its energy from renewables by 2020. It currently only achieves 5% meaning all projects that can make a real difference and energy contribution are of great interest to DECC.
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.
Find Out More
Visit www.naturalenergywyre.co.uk for more visuals, 3D animated video and downloadable information and your opportunity to have your say.
Map of Fleetwood, taken from Google