Wyre Tidal Gateway project could still be value for money, say bosses

An artist's impression of how the Wyre Tidal Gateway could look
An artist's impression of how the Wyre Tidal Gateway could look
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A scheme to harness the power of the sea on the Fylde coast would offer the Government a cheaper solution than the refused Swansea barrage, say bosses.

The people behind the Wyre Tidal Gateway say the Government’s refusal this week to back the £1.3bn Welsh scheme over value for money concerns, leaves them still in a strong position to pioneer renewable power for the UK.

In June last year, the Duchy of Lancaster which owns the land nominated Simec Atlantis Energy as their preferred partner to develop the proposed Wyre Estuary tidal barrage and flood protection project.

It would be link Fleetwood and Knott End using tidal flow to generate electricity while also regulating river levels to prevent flooding in the lower reaches of the Wyre.

Simec Atlantis Energy is now completing feasibility studies in order to proceed to the next stage of design, engineering and consenting, following which the construction phase would be expected to commence in 2021.

Following the Swansea failure, Tim Cornelius, CEO of Simec Atlantis Energy said: “We believe our proposed project for the Wyre Estuary represents a golden opportunity for the Government to reinforce its commitment to tidal range technology.

“As well as generating predictable, zero carbon, sustainable power to the region, the project also offers flood protection capabilities for the local Wyre valley. With an expected capital expenditure of £250m and lifespan of 120 years, this project will have over 100MW of installed generation capacity.”

He said the project would need a subsidy less than that awarded to Hinkley Point nuclear power station and would pioneer technology for other similar shcemes.

He said: “Therefore the Wyre Estuary project is the ideal, cost effective option to develop tidal range technology, as well as diversify the UK’s energy mix.

"It will provide a significant economic boost to Fleetwood and the surrounding area and fits with the governments Northern Powerhouse Strategy.”