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* Energy ministry has received draft proposal
* Could produce 16 TWh per year, operate for 120 years
LONDON, Aug 20 A group of developers is
attempting to revive plans to harness tidal energy from Severn
estuary between England and Wales to produce 5 percent of
Britain's power in a private project, after the government
rejected publicly funded proposals two years ago.
The Corlan Hafren consortium, made up of four companies
including construction consultants Arup and Mott MacDonald, has
presented new plans for a barrage in the Severn to the energy
ministry, a spokesman for the government said.
A barrage would stretch across the estuary, like a dam, and
use sluice gates to channel water, which turns turbines as it
flows inland during high tide and back out during low tide.
"We have only seen a very draft and high-level outline
business case from the consortium. Even if this proposal can
meet our criteria, it has a long way to go in development," the
Corlan Hafren said its proposed barrage would generate 16
terawatt-hours of electricity a year and could operate for 120
years, but it gave no price estimate.
The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) rejected
a series of Severn project proposals in October 2010, saying a
dam of up to 13,500 megawatts in capacity, bigger than the
current proposal, could cost as much as 34 billion pounds ($53.4
billion), too much for the public purse.
In a report last year about Britain's future renewable
energy market, the ministry said that even though it had
rejected the Severn proposals for public funding, developers
were assessing a number of privately funded projects in the
Environmental groups are in two minds about the tidal
project, saying that even though they support the generation of
renewable energy, more studies were necessary to establish the
impact on fish populations.
($1 = 0.6368 British pounds)
(Reporting by Karolin Schaps; editing by Jane Baird)