Natural energy Wyre Ltd is a company dedicated to delivering a tidal hydro energy plant at the carefully selected location of Fleetwood, in Lancashire.
An attractive build cost, high potential for social economic uplift, and an effective flood defence capability make this the most exciting renewable energy project in existence in UK today.
Project Key Features/Motivations
Located right at the point where the River Wyre flows into Morecambe Bay and the Irish Sea, the selected site for this exciting project will, for the first time, join the rural town of Knott End with its more industrialised neighbour, Fleetwood.
The location is ideally suited, with only 600 meters of estuary separating the two land masses, therefore providing an extremely attractive £ per MW energy cost.
Historically, the River Wyre has been home to a large fleet of fishing trawlers tasked with fishing Icelandic waters; the location of a large chemical plant owned by Imperial Chemical Industries; a source of commercially dredged sharp sand for the building trade; a terminus for the Isle of Man Steam Packet Co. Ltd; and a RORO terminal for the Irish ferry trade operated by P&O, and latterly by Stenna Line.
Between the years of 1975 and 2009, all these activities eventually ceased, making unemployment a particularly grave concern in the town, and giving rise to social problems of drug and alcohol abuse, and the burden of a time-matured benefit culture that blights many communities in the UK today.
Seen by many local people as a lifeline for the future, the early support for this project has been understandably overwhelming, and as a company we have put immense effort into ensuring the public’s support is maintained. We have succeeded in this by holding informative clinics in numerous villages and towns local to the river’s coarse, and reinforced by a comprehensive web-based information hub, located at www.naturalenergywyre.co.uk
The project has been a long time in the making, with over eight years of dedicated foundation work. This early work detail has served to ensure that the project could move quickly when the correct time arrived.
We believe the correct time is now and look forward to delivering this project as a UK first, where we will display the advantages of reliable tidal range power generation and much more:
Reliable Energy Production
The predictability of tidal power is probably not in question, where electrical distribution grids make higher economic use of predictable energy than accommodating sporadic energy outputs from less predictable contributors such as wind and solar.
There are many compelling arguments supporting the value of predictable renewable energy resources and therefore it is not essential to go through the reasons that can be readily found detailed elsewhere.
Tidal estuary lagoons have abilities beyond the potential for power generation, and can provide excellent defence against periodic flood risks that can occur within the tidal reaches of most rivers.
The flood control feature is of particular interest in this instance, as regular flooding occurs at many locations along the river’s path, usually coinciding with spring tides and made worse when torrential rain falls on the west side of the Pennine range, causing huge amounts of rain water from land drainage tributaries to enter the river in short time periods
Our frequent engagement with Environment Agency environmental officers and engineers has gained their attention and support for this project, as they regularly see many riverside dwellings enduring flood conditions. Further, the predicted raise in sea levels through global warming make this imminent flood risk very real.
The Wyre Eco-THEP (Tidal Hydro Energy Plant) project is geared to have a long overdue and welcome impact on social and economic issues. The project is capable of providing a positive and dynamic change in the town of Fleetwood and surrounding districts. General economic growth is anticipated, not only in tourism and allied activities, but in manufacturing, where low carbon energy should be seen as enticement for industry to flourish in the area.
Although a public road link between the rural village of Knott End and Fleetwood is not envisaged in our scope of delivery, a route for emergency vehicles is paramount to the welfare of the rural community, with emergency services already claiming that access across the river to Knott End will cut over 30 minutes from emergency service response times.
Fleetwood and Blackpool are joined by an electric tram service (one of UK’s oldest), providing direct access to the location of the proposed Tidal Hydro Energy Plant and joining Fleetwood with Blackpool. Blackpool is a premier UK holiday destination that regularly enjoys over 14 million tourists annually.
A conservative figure by tourism consultants suggested upwards of 600k visitors per annum would be enticed to visit the Wyre Eco-THEP. A visitor centre housing educational facilities will provide facilities for schools and universities to learn more about renewable energy by direct engagement.
Fleetwood was originally the UK’s main rail route to the north, evidenced by the railway station being called North Euston, the furthest rail destination north of London. Then a Victorian playground and vibrant fishing community, the town enjoyed major growth in many ways.
Over the years, the town has fallen foul of cheap overseas holiday travel, the end of its arterial rail link in the late 60s, and the demise of all UK/Icelandic fishing activities. The result has been devastating to the town, causing the loss of over 20,000 jobs, with many keen workers today travelling far and wide to find work, and in doing so creating further problems to the area through congested road conditions on arterial routes at peak times. Jobs on offer in the town are in short supply, and generally don’t pay wages much above the national minimum.
The directors of Natural Energy Wyre have a refreshingly broad vision, taking this project far beyond a tidal power plant by nurturing and delivering the potential benefits through development of all the opportunities this project provides.
Tourism takes many forms today and, as would be expected, encompasses the fundamental toffee apple/candy floss/fairground attractions of a traditional resort, but also all the attractions associated with large, safe, navigable tracts of water and the broad spectrum eco-experiences such areas support.
The Wyre Eco-THEP project has potential to facilitate all aspects of water sports, power and sail boating activities, angling, and many forms of eco-adventuring. Associated growth in all forms of riverside amenity is anticipated, which will include restaurants, marinas, jetties, nature reserves and viewing opportunities in an area that is home to many diverse species of wildlife.
Unlike many conventional civil engineering projects, where the management of environmental issues is often regarded as an inevitable problem and a costly topic, Natural Energy Wyre Ltd, has a refreshing and completely engaging approach to all environmental issues.
Natural Energy Wyre Ltd welcomes the opportunity to work constructively with all interest groups, and in doing so, intends to grow the environmental experience through providing added security to existing wildlife, which is essential to the whole ecotourism experience.
The financial uplift, possible through tourism, on the local economy is a strong focus of this project, and our management intends to cater for all potential interest groups, from anglers in search of that record catch, to ornithologists looking to capture that unique image. We, the directors at Natural Energy Wyre, are committed to creating a result to be proud of. We understand our approach is refreshingly unique, but the circumstances surrounding this project and its management are also unique, in that the company MD was born and raised in the town and continually strives to improve quality of life by the creation of an enviable future.
Maintaining a neutral impact on the environment is right at the top of our company’s goals and it is our intention, with the help of government bodies and environmental interest groups, to deliver this project in such a way as to take away the ecological fears often associated with tidal energy projects.
We believe that a delivery method can be honed to perfection, and in doing so, should create an effective template for the general safe delivery of tidal technology.
Achieving ecological perfection in this field will allow the natural tidal resources around the UK to be successfully harnessed while maintaining and protecting all aspects of the prolific biodiversity existing in our river estuaries.
The UK has many rivers representing many opportunities and many areas that are in danger of flooding, particularly in consideration of imminent sea level rises.
It is the prime focus of Natural Energy Wyre Ltd to develop, perfect, record and implement environmentally benign methods for the construction, delivery and operation of all tidal range power plants.
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