Speaking to institutional investors at a major conference, the Metro Mayor said such a plan could provide green energy for 200,000 homes across the Liverpool city region. Tony McDonough reports
Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram is reviving the idea of a power-generating barrage across the Mersey estuary.
Speaking at the third annual UK-Wide Infrastructure Investment Conference in Milton Keynes, Mr Rotheram said devolution gave the city region the opportunity to “think big” and says a barrage could turbo charge the city region economy.
In 2011 a report by a body called Mersey Tidal Power proposed a £3.5bn plan for such a structure across the river from Dingle to New Ferry.
The project, led by Peel Energy, would see a barrage that could generate power for 200,000 homes but it was abandoned due to the huge capital cost.
However, addressing the audience of institutional investors, Mr Rotheram said a barrage could begin to redress the infrastructure investment imbalance that has until now favoured projects in London and the South East.
And he invited potential funders and partners to come forward to take part in the next phase of commercial and technical feasibility work.
To underline the Metro Mayor’s commitment, he also intends to appoint a project director to take this work forward.
He said: “We need to expend the scale of ambition in the city region.
“For decades, the task of harnessing the enormous tidal power of the River Mersey as a source of renewable energy has been simply consigned to the too difficult and complicated box.
“A Mersey Barrage would be a source of green energy, a stimulus to employment and investment, and a project with massive transformational potential.
“Indeed, it has already been identified that this project alone has the potential to provide enough power to meet the average needs of 200,000 homes.
“This would be a significant leap in achieving my ambition to be a carbon neutral city region by 2040.”