New project could slash costs of tidal energy

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New project could slash costs of tidal energy

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A proposed 120MW tidal project could dramatically lower the cost of energy generated by the sea.

Natural Energy Wyre Ltd’s £250 million proposed project on the River Wyre near Blackpool, would harness the power of ten metre tides flowing between the river and the Irish sea four times a day.

Although UK coastlines have good potential for tidal energy, developers often seek government subsidies to balance the high cost of adopting early stage technologies. A planned 320MW Swansea Bay tidal lagoon could cost £1.3 billion.

Natural Energy’s Managing Director, Bob Long said: “We think it’s the most affordable project of its kind, especially compared with Swansea tidal lagoon. The UK has a lot of potential for this technology, for example a river by Bristol has a tidal range of 12 meters.”

Mr Long added the company is seeking a contract for difference of £110 a megawatt-hour for the River Wyre project. Once technology advances and higher volumes of power can be produced, this cost could be brought down to £100 a megawatt-hour for subsequent projects.

Natural Energy was negotiating with DECC before it was disbanded and Mr Long has said he wants discussions to start again soon with the new government.

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