Consulting engineer will prepare feasibility study for harnessing tidal energy and then select scheme with most potential

Scott Wilson has won a £5m project to harness tidal energy in the Mersey estuary.

Working within a consortium, Scott Wilson will prepare an initial feasibility study, part-funded by the Northwest Regional Development Agency, to select a power scheme that stands the chance of delivering maximum energy from the estuary.

The team will then go on to prepare a planning application for the preferred scheme.

The Mersey has one of the largest tidal ranges in the UK and has the potential to make a significant contribution to the government's target to secure 15% of UK energy from renewable sources by 2020.

The Scott Wilson consortium includes EDF, Drivers Jonas and several north-west based SMEs.

Hugh Blackwood, group chief executive, said: “Our inclusion in this consortium demonstrates the growing diversity of our expertise and ability to operate in niche areas of the market."