Thousands of jobs could be created by a scheme that aims to harness the tidal power of the Mersey.
The scheme could also help the Liverpool City Region become zero carbon by 2040.
Work has begun on an outline business case which will inform the future development of the project.
Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, says a tidal energy scheme could generate a huge amount of renewable green energy and make the city a world leader in the low-carbon industry.
Mr Rotheram said: “Tidal power has the potential to generate a huge amount of renewable energy, helping us to hit our target of being zero carbon by 2040, while boosting economic growth for everyone in our city region, and creating thousands of jobs in its design, construction and beyond.
“Devolution gives us the scale and powers necessary to pursue this kind of transformative project and the opportunity to shape the skills we need for our local economy, which means we can ensure that our children and young people develop in the areas they would need to benefit from these jobs.
“If we are successful in delivering this project, we would become a global leader in tidal technology and export our expertise around the world.
“The next stage in the project is to prepare a detailed and robust technical, financial and environmental assessment of the viability of tidal energy here in the city region, to provide the definitive evidence for its feasibility.”
It is thought that a tidal energy scheme for the River Mersey and Liverpool Bay 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 a million homes.
An outline business case will provide the Combined Authority with a detailed and robust technical, financial, economic and environmental assessment of the viability of tidal energy; allowing for a further decision to be made following its completion next year, as to whether the scheme should be developed further.
To assist with the development of the outline business case, a team of industry-leading technical and financial advisers, with extensive experience of delivering major infrastructure projects, has been appointed, who will now work with the Combined Authority to develop the outline business case over the next 12 months.
The team will be led by Arup and includes ABPmer, Grant Thornton.