Natural Energy Wyre Limited will now take their project forward to the funding and planning application stage, after obtaining the rights from the Duchy of Lancaster.

The project, dubbed the Wyre Tidal Barrage, is said to be UK’s first tidal energy power station, boasting an installed capacity of 90MW/hr.

Essentially, a dam will be built across the 600m mouth of the Wyre estuary, and six turbines will capture the energy of the river as the tide moves in and out. The predictable nature of the tides reportedly offers a consistent reliable source of energy.

The project has a lifespan of over 120 years, and will provide electricity for up to 50,000 homes in the UK.

Northern powerhouse

Bob Long, the managing director of the developer, said: “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.”

The developers expect the scheme to provide 5,000 jobs and attract 600,000 visitors to the region

The next step for the project is raising £10m stage-one funding, needed for full completion of the planning application.

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.

 Video: A fly-by of the Wyre Tidal Barrage

Rising tide

Last week Amber Rudd gave planning permission to a similar project – the tidal lagoon power plant in Swansea Bay.

When fully operational in 2023, the tidal lagoon will have an installed capacity of 320MW – enough to generate renewable electricity to power 155,000 homes, which represents more than 90% of homes in the Swansea Bay area. 

Brad Allen

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