The Duchy of Lancaster has granted a lease over part of the Lancashire foreshore to facilitate the development of a new flood protection and tidal barrage scheme over the Wyre estuary.
Marine power specialists Atlantis Resources Limited are the lead developers on the project which is designed to produce up to 300GWh of affordable green energy per year for local commercial and domestic use. Over the next 3 years, Atlantis will work with the Duchy, Wyre and Lancashire Councils, local stakeholders and investors to gain the necessary permissions before starting installation work on site. Tenders are expected to be issued early next year and the new facility is expected to be fully operational by 2023.
Commenting on the agreement Duchy Head of Project Management Graeme Chalk said: “The Duchy believes in encouraging sustainability, including the use of green energy and renewables. We are pleased to be able to facilitate the development of this project which we hope will not only offer low cost energy for local businesses and residents but will add new employment opportunities and economic benefits to the wider community.”
CEO of Atlantis Resources Tim Cornelius believes that this project could set the benchmark for similar projects across the UK: “This low cost barrage over the Wyre could be a pathfinder project for other tidal power schemes under consideration, including those on Merseyside, in Cardiff and over the Solway. The development, construction and operation of tidal barrages could stimulate local economies across the country, establishing improved infrastructure and creating job and supply chain opportunities. It also helps to bring a better balance to the UK’s renewable portfolio which is currently heavily weighted in favour of offshore wind.”
The Foreshore Survey which runs between the midpoint of the River Mersey in the south to Barrow in Furness in the north forms part of the Duchy of Lancaster’s ancient inheritance. Extensive interests were sold during the 19th century, including the River Mersey Docks and land along the famous Blackpool Promenade. Today, the Foreshore Survey includes almost 100 individual lettings for moorings, pipe bridges and outfall structures, wild fowling licences, sheep and cattle grazing on coastal marshes, sub-sea pipelines and fibre-optic cables.