Northern Tidal Power Gateways has appointed Mott MacDonald as advisor for the company's £8 billion tidal energy investment in Morecambe Bay and the Duddon Estuary in North West England. The engineering consultancy firm will work together with the company to identify areas of potential economic benefit for the region, as well as wider issues pertaining to the project's feasibility.
Northern Tidal Power Gateways is a tidal energy project, situated in the North West of England. Tidal energy, which leverages ocean currents to generate electricity, is part of wider efforts to develop pollution and risk free sources of sustainable energy.
Studies by Northern Tidal Power Gateways, a company bearing the same name as the wider project, identified up to 6,600Gwh of electricity generation capacity across Morecambe Bay and the Duddon Estuary in north west England – enough to power approximately 1.5 million homes. Mott MacDonald has been commissioned by Northern Tidal Power Gateways to provide advisory services for the project’s development.
The project is also likely to create considerable upgrades for the region as the wider supply chain for construction brings in new transport infrastructure and connectivity across the locations. The project is, in addition, cited to create opportunity for residents, from employment, education and welfare, to environment and flood risk management – although the environmental impact of the project remains an area of potential contention.
The total investment into the project’s construction is approximately £8 billion, creating around 7,500 construction jobs pumping around £300 million in GVA into the region per year from the constructions side alone. Mott MacDonald is tasked with identifying key areas of potential economic benefit from the wider project, including the indirect benefits to areas such as manufacturing, logistics and tourism.
David Stork, Mott MacDonald’s project director, says that the firm is “very proud” to be working on the “exciting and ambitious project”, which has the potential to be transformational for the north west. Adding, “Our team will be responsible for investigating all the opportunities made possible by this development, as well as understanding the challenges that will need to be overcome to make the project feasible. Mott MacDonald also works on large hydropower projects around the world so we’ll be bringing that extensive expertise to the project as well.”
Northern Tidal Power Gateways is the brainchild of Alan Torevell, Chair of Dewhurst Torevell, who remarks, “We have been engaged in promoting this project for over four years with substantial help from the University of Lancaster, the National Environmental Research Council and others along the way. We have also had exhibitions in Whitehaven, Barrow, Morecambe, Manchester and Liverpool which have generated overwhelming public support. We are very proud that a company with the skill and prestige of Mott MacDonald is now working alongside us. It is hoped that before the end of Autumn 2017 there will be sufficient confidence to move into the feasibility phase of the project, where all the necessary planning requirements will need to be met and any remaining environmental concerns alleviated, to enable a start to be made.”
The project represents one of the wider moves to invigorate the North's economy, with wider efforts dubbed the 'Northern Powerhouse'.