Project Updates

  • Mersey Tidal Power Feasibility Study

    Read more…

  • Three tidal power scheme options to be assessed with input from local communities

    Read more…

  • Consultation on Mersey Tidal Power approach to sustainability appraisal

    Read more…

  • Technology options put forward to generate tidal power from the Mersey Estuary

    Read more…

  • Power from the Mersey feasibility study

    Read more…

Three tidal power scheme options to be assessed with input from local communities

1 December 2010

Three tidal power scheme options that could deliver renewable electricity from the tides in the Mersey Estuary have been selected for further study in the third stage in the Mersey Tidal Power Feasibility Study.

The selection process considered both tidal barrage and tidal fence technology options and their potential locations. The team has determined that tidal fence technologies are not viable in the Mersey Estuary as they don’t generate enough electricity to support the cost of construction or are unproven and therefore cannot be progressed. One impounding barrage and two very low head barrage schemes will now be investigated leading to the selection of a preferred scheme at the end of March 2011. If this scheme is deemed to be feasible and viable, the aim is to progress it through the planning system, such that it could be operational by 2020 to support national renewable energy and greenhouse gas emission reduction targets.

The largest scheme could deliver over 900 million units (kilowatt hours) of electricity per year, enough renewable electricity to meet the average needs of over 200,000 homes, a significant proportion of the homes within the Liverpool City Region.

The studies to date have revealed a number of challenges relating to the potential impacts of a scheme on features in the Estuary, such as the internationally significant wildlife habitats, protected fish species, flood risk management plans, as well as commercial shipping interests. These challenges are being addressed through further design and assessment work to improve the schemes in order to give each the best chance of satisfying the consenting authorities as well as attracting potential investors. Environmental surveys are continuing to gather relevant data and inform the ongoing consultation with stakeholders such as Natural England, the Environment Agency, the Wildlife Trusts, RSPB and Local Authorities. Consultation with port and shipping stakeholders will continue to seek satisfactory solutions to avoid or mitigate impacts.

The scheme could enhance the reputation of the Liverpool City Region on the world stage as a community that is taking on the challenge of reducing greenhouse gas emissions while avoiding damage to the natural environment. It could also provide a number of wider economic and social benefits to the City Region including: the creation of hundreds of jobs during a four to five year construction period; operations and maintenance jobs for the 100-year life of the scheme; increased tourism revenue and associated jobs from visitors to the scheme; potential advancement of renewable energy technologies and their supply chains; as well as potential improvements to local infrastructure and facilities.

Mark Atherton, Director Energy and Environment, Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) said: “The Mersey Tidal Power scheme presents an opportunity for the Liverpool City Region to demonstrate its commitment to a low carbon future while also gaining a significant economic boost during the construction of the scheme and for many years thereafter. As one of the region’s natural energy assets, the Mersey Estuary presents a valuable resource that could make an important contribution to the Government’s 2020 renewable energy targets and enhance the City Region’s reputation as a base for the UK’s low carbon technologies sector.”

First round of community consultation launched

With the project still in its early stages, Peel Energy is embarking on a first round of consultation to ask communities in the vicinity of the potential locations of the scheme if there are local issues that should be considered in terms of the location, physical aspects, impacts, benefits and related opportunities of a tidal power scheme.

The studies have revealed that a 3.5 mile stretch of the estuary between New Ferry and Eastham on the Wirral side and Dingle to Garston on the Liverpool side would provide the most favourable location for a tidal power scheme.

The project team now wants to hear from people who live in, work in and use the areas surrounding this location. It is also inviting the views of local people and businesses that may be directly affected by development of a scheme, as well as people in neighbouring communities who may have strong views about it.

The project team now wants to hear from people who live in, work in and use the areas surrounding this location. It is also inviting the views of local people and businesses that may be directly affected by development of a scheme, as well as people in neighbouring communities who may have strong views about it.

Public exhibitions will be held in various locations in the local communities and municipal centres between 11 December and 24 January. The full schedule is as follows:

  • Sat 11 Dec 10am - 2pm, Bebington Civic Centre
  • Mon 13 Dec 12pm - 5pm, Birkenhead Market
  • Wed 15 Dec 2pm - 7pm, Sefton Park Community Library
  • Thu 16 Dec 12pm - 6pm, The Bluecoat, Liverpool
  • Tue 11 Jan 2pm - 7pm, Ellesmere Port Civic Hall
  • Thu 13 Jan 12pm - 6pm, Bromborough Library and Civic Centre
  • Sat 15 Jan 10am - 2pm, Britannia Inn, Riverside Drive
  • Thu 20 Jan 12pm - 6pm, Stobart Stadium, Widnes
  • Sat 22 Jan 10am - 2pm, Eastham Country Park Visitors Centre
  • Mon 24 Jan 12pm - 5pm, Garston Community Library
  •  

    Local community groups close to the potential development are also being offered briefings at one of their regular meetings. Interest groups who use the Mersey Estuary such as angling associations, sailing clubs and conservation groups are also being encouraged to take part in the consultation at the public exhibitions and at a number of workshops that will bring together people with related interests.

    Anthony Hatton, Development Director, Peel Energy said: “A tidal power scheme in the Mersey Estuary is an ambitious but attainable goal. There is still a long way to go before we find the right answer, but we are taking a careful, step-by-step approach.”

    “We want to take local people along with us as we progress the project. We are being totally open about the different options under consideration and will continue to stimulate the discussion with local authorities, interest groups and especially the people who live in the areas surrounding the possible sites.”

    “We understand that a tidal power scheme would affect people who live in, work in or use the area close to it, as well as impacting the local environment. We want to be aware of all the potential benefits and impacts and consider them fully as we develop the project.”