DONG Energy has signed an Agreement for Lease with the government of the Isle of Man to explore the possibility of developing a wind farm in Manx waters off the north east coast of the island.
The agreement with the Isle of Man’s Department of Infrastructure will enable DONG to carry out preliminary surveys to determine the practicality and commercial viability of siting wind turbines within the 12-mile limit of the island’s territorial sea.
”We are pleased to sign this Agreement for Lease with the Isle of Man Government, which allows us to carry out the necessary investigations to check whether we can progress our plans to build an offshore wind farm off the east coast of the Isle of Man. We are still very much in the early stages, but this agreement means we can move forward with assessing vital factors, such as wind speeds and ground conditions, critical to determining the viability of the project,” Benj Sykes, DONG Energy Vice President, UK Wind Power and Head of Asset Management, said.
The government says that the signing of the lease reinforces the Isle of Man’s desire to harness its natural resources for offshore energy production. It follows the granting of a survey licence to assess the potential to develop a tidal array off the Point of Ayre.
The creation of an offshore energy hub is one of its core long-term strategies for economic growth of the island. Developments in renewable energy could open up an opportunity for the Isle of Man to position itself as a hub to coordinate offshore projects and enhance connections between countries in the Irish Sea region. There may also be scope to secure future renewable electricity supplies for domestic use in the Isle of Man, as well as exporting power to the UK.
”The opportunities for renewable energy in Manx territorial waters are significant. The ambition of the industry is matched by a commitment from the Isle of Man Government to maximise the vast potential of the Irish Sea’s clean energy resources. DONG Energy is a world-renowned company with a strong track record of achievement in the development of offshore wind farms. We look forward to working with them to progress this exciting initiative,” the Isle of Man’s Infrastructure Minister Phil Gawne said.
DONG recently announced plans to build the world’s biggest offshore wind farm in the Irish Sea off the coast of Cumbria. Walney Extension is expected to be fully commissioned in 2018, surpassing the scale of the London Array Offshore Wind Farm.
Image: DONG Energy