Harnessing the vast renewable predictable energy of the large tidal range
The Northern Tidal Power Gateways will incorporate up to 132 x 30MW tidal range turbines in prefabricated turbine housings to harness the vast renewable predictable energy of the large tidal range – up to 10m – in Morecambe Bay and the Duddon Estuary.
These turbines are estimated to produce *between 7 million and 8 million MWh of predictable renewable electricity per year, comparable with a Nuclear Power Station. This equates to around 7% of the North West’s electricity requirement or 2% of the country’s requirement, sufficient for 2 million homes.
The capital cost of this project is substantial, but the expected service life of the tidal power barrage is up to *120 years. It will be capable of improvement and update over that period, and does not carry with it the decommissioning costs of, for example, a nuclear power plant of comparable generating capacity.
N.B A similar barrage with turbines across the La Rance estuary in Brittany has been running successfully since 1966. A recent inspection has found little damage and relatively easy improvement prospects, particularly by using modern computer technology to control and maximise output of the turbines. It currently produces electricity for as little as £10/MWh?
NTPG estimates that if the overall time – and therefore cost – for production can be kept to a minimum, direct savings can be made in other areas, reducing initial capital costs.