Study explores tidal-energy options

A study is under way to explore options for tidal-energy generation across the Duddon Estuary in south Cumbria.

Tidal barrages, fences, reefs and other technologies will all be considered along with the potential for a road link between Barrow-in-Furness and Millom.

Regeneration organisation Britain’s Energy Coast West Cumbria has commissioned consultant Parsons Brinckerhoff to undertake the feasibility study, which will help to identify the best options for any potential development.

As part of the study, the company will review the findings of previous studies carried out by Balfour Beatty and Sir Robert McAlpine for the Department for Trade and Industry in 1994.

Previous studies have suggested that the Duddon Estuary has the potential to generate around 100MW of energy and that a new transport link would cut 17 miles off the current journey between Barrow and Millom.

The study has been funded with a £30,000 grant from Britain’s Energy Coast West Cumbria and a further £30,000 from the Carbon Challenge Fund, which is administered by the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA).

Britain’s Energy Coast West Cumbria is to hold a workshop for invited key stakeholders in March and a second more comprehensive workshop before it publishes the findings of the study in the summer.

The start of the Duddon Estuary feasibility study comes just a few weeks after the publication of the Solway Firth Energy Feasibility Study, which identified options for four tidal barrages, two lagoons and three tidal reefs, which could generate between 100MW and 6GW of energy.

The findings can be found at