Industry big-hitter to lead Mersey Tidal Power project

Martin Land, a 30-year veteran of major energy and infrastructure roles, is to be project director on the Mersey Tidal Power scheme which could provide electricity to one million homes. Tony McDonough reports

River Mersey
Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram is pushing on with his Mersey Tidal Power project. Picture by Tony McDonough

 

Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram is appointing a power industry big-hitter to deliver his multi-billion pound Mersey Tidal Power project.

Martin Land, a 30-year veteran of major energy and infrastructure roles, is to be the project director on the scheme which it is hoped will supply one million Liverpool city region homes with electricity by 2040.

In February this year the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority approved £2.5m in funding to carry out the next phase of work on Mersey Tidal Power and develop a preferred option to take forward to planning.

This could be accelerated with the help of additional Government Funding to FEED stage development (Front End Engineering Design – basic engineering which is conducted after completion of a feasibility study).

It is calculated that the Mersey Tidal Power scheme could have the potential to generate up to four times the energy of all of the wind turbines in Liverpool Bay, which would be enough to power up to one million homes, 500 football stadiums, or send an electric train around the world 3,554 times.

A year-long study assessing the feasibility of the plan reported that the UK’s demand for electricity is set to double by 2050 due to the expected growth in electric vehicles and as existing industries decarbonise. It also said that tidal power is predictable, flexible and reliable, complementing the intermittent nature of other major renewables such as wind and solar power.

The report also said that it could generate much more power than previously thought possible, with cutting edge turbine technologies now capable of generating power efficiently on both the ebb and flow of the tide.

It was Merseyside County Council back in 1981 that first recognised the potential of using the power of the Mersey estuary tides to generate power. Previous studies have identified a preferred location running between Rock Ferry in Wirral and Dingle in Liverpool to ensure there was minimum disruption to commercial shipping.

Mr Land grew up in Cheshire and started his career locally with ICI at Northwich and Runcorn. He attended college in Halton, before working nationally and internationally on multi-billion pound projects, including the Chinese Nuclear Power Programme, High Speed 1 Rail and multiple power projects.

Svitzer Stanlow
The power of the Mersey tides could provide electricity to one million homes. Picture by Tony McDonough

 

He has left a position with Chester-based sustainable infrastructure specialists Black & Veatch to join the Mersey Tidal Power Project as its director. He said: “This is a unique moment, as we face the challenges of rebuilding our post-pandemic economy while reducing emissions and creating new green energy assets for future generations.

“Progressing the Mersey Tidal Power Project is an opportunity that I could not miss out on as we look for the solutions that will make a difference in the future. We have the opportunity to position the Liverpool city region as a worldwide leader in predictable, renewable and long-term generation that will contribute to the UK’s energy mix.”

Mr Rotheram added that long-term infrastructure projects such as the Mersey Tidal Power scheme are now even more important, playing a key role in the UK’s economic recovery.

“We are at a crucial stage in the process and that is why we have brought Martin,” he said. “He has a track record of delivering multi-billion pound projects and is the right person to develop Mersey Tidal Power to the point where government backing can make it a reality.”

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