Dong Energy will be carrying out preliminary investigations for a potential offshore wind farm in the Irish Sea between Great Britain and Ireland, having signed an Agreement for Lease (AfL) with the Isle of Man government.
The AfL gives Dong the right to investigate an area approximately 10 to 20km off the east coast of the island to determine its suitability for an offshore wind farm.
The company said it would take a number of years to complete these investigations, after which there would be an option to execute a lease with the Isle of Man government for the seabed over the lifetime of the wind farm, if conditions are suitable.
Benj Sykes, head of asset management for wind power, said, “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.”
Isle of Man Economic Development Minister Laurence Skelly said, “The renewable energy sector has huge potential for the future and is a key part of our strategy to deliver Vision 2020 and grow the economy.
“If a wind farm in Manx waters is viable, all the infrastructure costs would be borne by the developer rather than the Isle of Man government.”
Environmental consent would be needed before a lease is signed with the Isle of Man government, and if conditions are not suitable, Dong will hand the site back to the government.
Depending on the specific findings of the investigations throughout the development stage, construction activities would be likely to take place after 2020. If the wind farm is constructed, Dong said it was likely to be a site of up to approximately 700MW.