Local Residents Concerned over Irish Sea Wind Farm
Development of offshore wind farms in the Irish Sea has raised a myriad of concerns for the local residents, voiced during Celtic Array’s public consultation period, one of them being cutting off of ferry routes.
Centrica and Dong Energy consortium, Celtic Array, launched a public consultation process in November, so as to receive feedback on their proposed Rhiannon wind farm.
However, as the process moves forward the greatest worries seem to be related to the development plans for the North East area, cutting directly across the Liverpool and Heysham ferry routes.
Infrastructure Minister David Cretney and Steam Packet boss Mark Woodward teamed up with the Chamber of Commerce and TravelWatch to stress the potential impact the proposed renewable energy projects in the Irish Sea might have on lifeline services, the Isle of Man Today writes.
On the other hand, as explained by head of development for Centrica Renewable Energy, Laura Jeffs, while speaking at Mount Tabor Methodist church hall meeting, the proposals are not final yet, hence the consultation process which will help shape the project.
“We are not taking any decisions lightly. We are assessing a number of different concerns.
“Yes, we have an intention to build in the NE zone but we don’t know where, when or how much. We will not bring forward a proposal for the NE area for another one or two years yet. There is more consultation to be done,” Ms. Jeffs said.
So far, public meetings were held in Port St Mary, the i-Museum in Douglas and Ramsey town hall.
The Rhiannon windfarm will be located approximately 19km from Anglesey with total capacity of up to 2.2GW, which is enough to power about 1.7 million homes. The wind farm would have 140 to 440 turbines depending on their capacity.
The construction could commence in 2017 if Celtic Array receives permission.
Offshore WIND Staff, December 4, 2012; Image: Celtic Array