The Project

An overall timetable has been defined to ensure the project supports the policy objective of contributing to 2020 renewable energy targets.  The key milestones of the project include submission of applications for planning or other statutory consents in 2012 and commissioning of the scheme by 2020.

Pre - Feasibility Study

Peel, in partnership with the NWDA set out to explore the potential, the impacts and the implications of utilising the Mersey Estuary’s renewable energy potential for the benefit of the Northwest region.

The Mersey Basin Campaign gave its full backing to the work and a consortium of consultants led by Buro Happold was commissioned in July 2006 to undertake a ‘pre-feasibility’ Phase 1 Study.

The primary objective of the Phase 1 Study was to undertake a full and open assessment of the options available for the generation of renewable energy and to undertake a preliminary assessment of viability.

A number of viable schemes were identified.  The continued development of marine power technology means that others may also need to be considered as the project moves into the next phase.

Feasibility Study

Peel Energy and the Northwest Development Agency have been progressing the project in line with the principles for sustainable development.   A feasibility study was commissioned to assess the options and identify a preferred scheme to take forward for submission of an application for consent.  Work started in September 2009 and has now been completed.

The feasibility study was undertaken in three stages as follows:

Stage 1:      Definition of project strategies, data gathering and gap analysis, and selection of long list of suitable technologies

Stage 2:      Appraisal of the long list of technologies and formulation and appraisal of scheme options to identify a shortlist

Stage 3:      Further refinement and appraisal of the short list of scheme options and selection of the preferred scheme

The project has been pursued in an open and transparent manner, building on the consultation and stakeholder engagement started in the Phase 1 study.  An extensive programme of stakeholder engagement has been undertaken through project advisory groups, consultation with statutory and non-statutory consultees and public consultation targeted during appropriate stages of the project.