The Tidal Gateway

Tidal gateways provide innovative and environmentally friendly conversion of the power present in tidal range.

Tidal power is converted into useful electrical energy WITHOUT adversely affecting the environment.

The “Wyre” tidal gateway has much more to deliver to this small Northwest area by providing essential flood defences and huge potential for economic growth in multiple sectors including manufacturing, tourism and transport.

The project is owned and driven by Natural Energy Wyre Ltd., unique in their holistic focus for reparation of this underprivileged area and is driven by local people.
The town of Fleetwood is listed in government statistics as being in the lowest 5% of socially and economically deprived parts of Britain.

As part of the well-publicised “Energy Coast”, Fleetwood and its neighbours are ideally equipped to play active roles in the broader development as NEW Ltd. engages with the dynamic learning opportunities available through local schools, Blackpool and Fylde College (including the nationally renowned Nautical campus) and Lancaster University.

The delivery of this infrastructure project will be carefully guided by stringent disciplines maximising very aspect :

  • Construction impact will be reduced to a minimum by strategic use of river access for the transportation of large equipment and materials
  • Visual aesthetics will be the top consideration to create and iconic presence without detracting from the natural beauty of the estuary
  • This renewable energy project exemplifies the fundamental pillars of sustainability – People, Planet and Profit
  • Maximisation of local input focussing on employment and trade to optimise rapid regeneration

The Gateway

The Wyre Tidal Gateway is a tidal hydro energy plant with an installed capacity of 160MWH located on the River Wyre. It extracts energy cleanly and safely from the movement of the tides, utilising turbines and generators to convert this movement into electrical energy. Tidal energy is quite different to its renewable counterparts (wind and solar) in that it is completely predictable with tidal events occurring twice a day without fail.  This predictability guarantees an annual output of approximately 300GWH of electrical energy. This is sufficient to power over 80,000 homes which is impressive for one relatively small British estuary.

Looking forward, we hope that the Wyre Tidal Gateway will function as a forerunner for future tidal power projects which could ultimately supply the UK with close to 20% of its current total energy generating capability.

This project has the potential to be the first low head tidal range energy power station in the UK and a world first to utilise intelligent triple-regulation technology matching power production with variations in tidal conditions.

The Gateway will be made up of three primary parts:

Turbines and sluice gates optimised to harness maintain the natural tidal cycle within the estuary

Ability to control tidal flow providing essential flood defence management as sea-levels continue to rise

Navigation locks, one commercial and one leisure, allowing connectivity between the river and the sea, providing additional revenue from improved marine facilities ie ferries and port services.

The Location

The site is located on the Lancashire coast, between the industrial town of Fleetwood to the west and the small rural village of Knott End to the east. This specific site is positively unique, encompassing ideal geophysical and geological features, close proximity to a substantial National Grid connection, and some of the largest tidal ranges in the country. This site also provides a range of benefits to potential stakeholders in and around the Wyre area. The populations of Fleetwood and Knott End will benefit from the many work opportunities that will be created – through both the construction and operation of the gateway – as well as educational facilities that will serve to teach related skills.

 

The River

The River Wyre estuary is ideal for the Wyre Barrage, with its narrow, deep channel and bulbous body; a 600-meter span between its land masses; and an average tidal range of 8.2m and 4.5m during spring and neap cycles respectively, making power generation from this location the most economically viable in UK.With an estimated inclusive construction cost of approximately £400m—including a £60m contingency to support civil costings, design, development and optimism bias, and to ensure the Project remains deliverable even with over-runs—and an annual output of at least 287GWh make the Wyre Tidal Gateway the most affordable project available, before consideration is even given to the value of associated enhancements and opportunities.

The Timescales

Key timing milestones are as follows:

  • Environmental studies, site investigations and engineering design – 12 months to summer 2018 (this assumes a single year of environmental studies will be required, but which may need to be extended to two years).
  • DCO submission – October 2018 (assuming an 18-month process, commencing spring 2017).
  • DCO approval – February 2020.
  • Final Investment Decision – March 2020.
  • Construction – April 2020 to June 2023.
  • Site operational – from Feb 2023 (phase 1 turbine commissioning is complete before final construction sign-off).

The Future

This unused section of land could soon be occupied with a state-of-the-art tidal gateway that could boost the local economy, protect the natural landscape and, most important, generate clean, renewable, tidal energy for many years to come.

The Wyre Tidal Gateway site as it is today :

For the future Wyre Tidal Gateway site ?  Help us to create a new Fleetwood together ….

Find Out More

If you'd like more information on the Wyre Tidal Gateway, or want to know how you can get involved, contact us today.

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