The Isle of Man Government has taken a further step towards progressing offshore energy opportunities and working with the UK to help meet its renewable energy targets with the announcement of its preferred partners to develop a wind farm and tidal power within the 12-mile limit of its territorial sea.
The Isle of Man Government has selected DONG Energy, one of the UK’s largest operators of offshore wind farm developments; Manx Tidal Energy Ltd and Tocardo Tidal Energy Ltd as preferred partners for the development of offshore wind farm and tidal power developments respectively.
Minister for the Isle of Man’s Department of Infrastructure Phil Gawne MHK commented:
‘It is encouraging that DONG Energy has been selected as our preferred partner to develop an offshore wind farm in our territorial sea.
‘DONG Energy is the global market leader in offshore wind farm developments and, with the recent commission of West of Duddon Sands, now operates seven offshore wind farm projects in the UK. DONG Energy was selected based on a successful technical and economic assessment.
‘In respect of the tidal power development, Manx Tidal Energy Ltd and Tocardo Tidal Energy Ltd have been selected as our preferred partners.
‘Manx Tidal Energy Ltd will partner with a technology company to develop its proposed sites.
‘Tocardo Tidal Energy Ltd is a Dutch company with tidal turbines that have been in operation in Holland for six years.
‘For both projects, existing constraints such as transport links and fisheries will be protected in any future energy developments within the Isle of Man’s territorial sea’.
A competitive tender process was undertaken for the award of an agreement for lease of the seabed in the Isle of Man territorial waters for the development of an offshore wind generation project.
Minister for Economic Development Laurence Skelly MHK commented:
‘The development of the offshore energy hub is one of the Government’s key strategies for driving future economic growth.
‘The opportunities for the Isle of Man in renewable energy are significant. Leasing parts of the seabed within our waters to offshore wind and tidal developers will not only help the UK meet its ambitious plans for growth of renewable electricity generation but will also generate at least £5M of revenue per year directly to Government, helping to fund public services as well as contributing to a lower carbon footprint.
‘There is also further economic development potential for the Isle of Man as these offshore installations will require onshore facilities to meet the operation and maintenance of the turbines. We are estimating the creation of around 50-60 operation & maintenance jobs for just one offshore wind farm.
‘It is also important to highlight that all the infrastructure costs involved in building and installing the wind farms would be borne by the developer, not the Isle of Man Government.’
The proposed site of the wind farm is off the east coast of the Isle of Man. In respect of the tidal power development there are three possible sites to be surveyed around the Island at the Point of Ayre, Calf of Man and Castletown.
The sites have been selected based on knowledge of existing constraints identified in the Manx Marine Environmental Assessment and location guidance notes. Surveys are expected to commence in 2015.
Any future lease would be conditional on the developers obtaining approval and consent through the process outlined in the Guide to Developers for proposed works in the Isle of Man Territorial Sea.