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World's first wind and gas offshore energy project given go-ahead  

A unique dual energy scheme to be sited off the Cumbrian coast was given the go-ahead today by Energy Minister Lord Truscott.

The Ormonde project from Eclipse Energy will be sited 10KM from Walney Island near Barrow in Furness.

This innovative hybrid development has the potential to generate up to 200MW of electricity with almost half coming from the wind farm comprising up to 30 turbines. This is enough clean energy for around 70,000 homes.

When the wind isn’t sufficient, power will still come via conventional gas sources pumped from two fields in nearby Morecambe Bay for which DTI approval has also been sought.

Energy Minister Lord Truscott said:

“We are now starting to see a real flow of approvals for energy projects in UK waters. The London Array and Thanet schemes in the Thames Estuary went through in December and the good progress continues in 2007.

“The Ormonde scheme is unusual in that it will combine wind and gas power to produce continuous electricity for the region. It is an exciting and innovative technological first that will make a contribution to our renewable energy aims.”

Minister for the Marine Environment, Ben Bradshaw, said:

“This development reinforces the Government’s commitment to renewable energy and combating climate change. All of the environmental issues and possible impacts on others users of the sea have been addressed in the planning and consent process.”

Commenting on the licence award, Ian Hatton, Managing Director of Eclipse said,

“Eclipse is delighted to have gained consent for the world’s 1st hybrid energy generation facility.

“We have combined both North Sea oil and gas experience and business models to provide a commercial catalyst to enable us to harness the energy from offshore natural gas fields and wind power, this is a global first.

“Over the next few years the UK’s natural gas reserves will become depleted and we will become increasingly dependent upon imported energy. It is therefore vital that we explore the opportunities for producing energy from renewable sources and that we maximise recovery of the nation’s indigenous energy.

“We believe that wind power can play a key role by producing electricity from a clean, free, abundant and inexhaustible resource. We expect Ormonde to be the first of a series of similar projects where offshore wind energy is developed using the hybrid concept.”

Rob Hastings, Director of the Marine Estate at The Crown Estate said,

“The Crown Estate is delighted to have been able to work closely with the developer and the DTI to enable this important demonstration of transitional technology. The combination of hydrocarbon and renewable energy is part of the future of energy production.”

The Ormonde project is scheduled for completion in 2010.

WRITTEN MINISTERIAL STATEMENT

MALCOLM WICKS MP: MINISTER OF STATE FOR SCIENCE AND INNOVATION

8 FEBRUARY 2007

GRANT OF CONSENT FOR AN ELECTRICITY GENERATING STATION OFF THE CUMBRIAN COAST

The Secretary of State for Trade and Industry has granted consents under section 36 of the Electricity Act 1989 for the construction and operation of the gas generating station and wind farm that comprise the Ormonde project.

The consents are being granted to Eclipse Energy Company Limited (EECL) and Ormonde Energy Limited (a majority owned subsidiary of EECL). This innovative hybrid project will be sited around 10km from Walney Island and has the potential to generate a total of up to 200MW of electricity, with around half coming from the wind farm.

The decision to grant the consents was taken after a thorough consideration of the possible impacts of the project on a range of environmental and other issues and interests and of the advice received from a range of stakeholders, including statutory consultees on navigation and nature conservation issues. The Secretary of State concluded that the impacts envisaged by those making representations will either be of low significance or can be mitigated or avoided by the use of suitable conditions in the Electricity Act consents or in the licence for the project that is to be issued by the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs under the Food and Environment Protection Act 1985.

The Secretary of State will, in due course, announce the outcome of an application for the grant of approval for the proposed Ormonde gas field development under the separate Petroleum Act 1998 regime, relating to the extraction of gas from the sea bed. Today`s announcement does not pre-judge the outcome of that application.”

Department of Trade and Industry
7th Floor
1 Victoria Street
London SW1H 0ET
Public Enquiries +44 (0)20 7215 5000
Textphone +44 (0)20 7215 6740
(for those with hearing impairment)
http://www.dti.gov.uk

Client ref P/2007/27

GNN ref 143767P

Department of Trade and Industry

8 February 2007

gnn.gov.uk

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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