Morecambe Bay bridge could power 2.2 million homes

A proposed 'green' bridge across Morecambe Bay could produce enough energy to power 2.2 million homes, 80% of the 2.8 million homes in the north west of England, new research has claimed.

Plans for the bridge were outlined last year, (see related story), by private consortium ‘Bridge Across The Bay Company’. If built it would stretch from Heysham to Barrow, with tidal, wave, wind and photovoltaic systems built in to connect to the grid.

David Brockbank, Chairman of the Bridge Across the Bay Company, said the latest research by HR Wallingford Ltd showed that there could be enough energy in Morecambe Bay to fuel 2.2 million households.

“There could be as much as 2-3 gigawatts (the equivalent of 2-3 nuclear power stations), of potential power,” he said.

However, opponents of the development have cited the powerful tide in the bay as one of the main reasons against building such a structure. A spokesman for English Nature told edie that the tides were vital to the ecology of the system as they move such massive amounts of sediment back and forth. The turbines could take a lot of this energy out of the system, reducing the dynamic and affecting the wellbeing of the eco-system.

Mr Brockbank has countered that extracting the full potential from the bay would have a major impact and said: “For that reason, we aim to extract no more than 10%. We are committed to minimising the impact on the environment.”

The company is now using the results of the study to progress their discussions with a range of tidal turbine developers from the UK and overseas.

David Hopkins

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