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TEDD Group

NATURAL ENERGY WYRE (NEW) PROJECT

Natural Energy Wyre

Introduction

Natural Energy Wyre (NEW) has developed, to its current proof-of-concept, a project to construct a tidal energy power plant (hereafter referred to as ‘the Wyre Barrage’ or “the Project”) across the River Wyre, connecting Fleetwood and Knott End. The Wyre Barrage will harness the power of the tides to generate a long-term, secure and predictable source of renewable energy. The Wyre Barrage is the corner-stone of the Wyre Tidal Gateway project, to leverage this major infrastructure project with other opportunities and enhancements to rejuvenate the Wyre area and benefit the wider North West.

History of the Project

The Wyre Tidal Gateway, in its current configuration, has been developed from initial concept to this proof-of-concept study by NEW over several years. Much of this time has been taken with identifying conceptual plans and building strong links with relevant interest groups – environmental, local authorities, national government and the local community. The approach adopted has been to ensure that economic regeneration of the local area is paramount, and to work with relevant authorities to understand their concerns about the Project, and find ways to alleviate these concerns in a positive manner. Whilst much of this work is informal, it provides a very powerful supporter base to ensure the formal consultation processes progress as smoothly as possible.

Site Location And Selection

The River Wyre flows through the North-West, originating in the Trough of Bowland, before discharging into Morecambe Bay at Fleetwood.
The Wyre’s tidal range, like much of the West coast of UK, is substantial, averaging 8.2m and 4.5m during spring and neap cycles
respectively. In addition, the river geography benefits from a narrow estuary mouth but a bulbous body that remains tidal for a long distance up-river. These factors combine to ensure an economically attractive ratio of build cost (low due to the narrow mouth) to generation (high due to large tidal range and significant impounded volume). The relatively modest size of the Wyre estuary makes it an ideal site to demonstrate the power and advantages of tidal energy to the UK energy demand.
Benefits from know-how and economies of scale will be progressively delivered on subsequent projects; combined with the potential for tidal lagoons, tidal energy has the potential to supply 20% of the UK’s electricity requirements. The 2017 published Hendry Report recommended strategic investment into tidal energy, and recognised the Wyre’s progress and opportunities.
The strong attractiveness of the River Wyre as the first-of-a-kind is supplemented by benefits of economic regeneration and flood defence that provide strong motivations to the Project. In addition, related infrastructure projects, such as the return of ferry services to Fleetwood, and development of compressed air energy storage, make the Wyre Barrage a catalyst for further opportunities. As such, involvement in the Wyre Tidal Gateway will provide early participation in an emerging UK industry.

Key Milestones

Key timing milestones are as follows:

Informal planning support – Summer 2023
Environmental studies, site investigations, and engineering design – 12 months to summer 2024 (assuming a single year of environmental studies will be required, but may need to be extended to two years).
Formal planning submission – November 2024.
Planning approval – Spring 2025.
Final Investment Decision – Summer 2025.
Construction – Spring 2026 to Autumn 2028.
Site operational – from Spring 2027 (phase 1 turbine commissioning is complete before final construction sign-off).

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