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 Barrage

The Wyre Tidal Barrage is a 100mWh tidal hydro energy plant 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. The brilliant thing about tidal energy is that it is completely predictable, with the tide passing through the plant twice a day without fail. What this means is that we can draw around 287GWh of electricity annually, or enough for 80,000 homes—now that’s a lot of energy.Looking forward, we hope that the Wyre Tidal Barrage will function as a forerunner for future tidal power projects which could ultimately supply the UK with close to 20% of its total electricity requirements.

This project has the potential to be the first low head tidal range energy power station in the UK and the first in the world to optimise energy generation whilst matching the existing natural tidal profile.

The barrage will be made up of three primary parts:

Turbines and sluice gates optimised to harness the maximum potential energy available from the tide as well as to maintain the natural tidal cycle within the estuary. The ability to control tidal flow also provides much-needed flood defence management for local residents and businesses even in the higher reaches of the river as sea levels continue to rise.

The barrage wall which is around 10m wide and 370m long. This allows the rising and falling tides to be held back, creating the necessary head of water to drive hydro-power turbines.

The navigation locks, one commercial and one leisure. These will allow continued access between the river and sea and provide potential for additional revenue from improved marina facilities and the potential return of ferry 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 project will also birth related infrastructure projects, such as the return of ferry services to Fleetwood, and development of compressed air energy storage, all of which will go on to spawn further opportunities. As such, involvement in the Wyre Tidal Gateway will provide early participation in emerging UK industries.

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 ….

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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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