August 28, 2012
Isle of Man

Wind farm company to explain its plans

By Adrian Darbyshire | 28 August 2012

Energy giant DONG is holding a community consultation event in Douglas next month to present details of its proposals to extend its existing Walney offshore wind farm.

The event, at the Villa Marina on September 5, is one of seven being held – with the others taking place in Cumbria and Lancashire.

Members of the project team will be on hand to explain the details of the proposals and answer any questions.

The proposed extension will double the size of the existing Walney offshore wind farm set to double the area of its existing wind farm by installing an extra 108 turbines. It will cover an area of up to 149 square km and generate up to 750 megawatts (MW) of electricity – enough to meet the average needs of about 657,000 homes.

Walney is the largest offshore wind farm in the world, generating 367 MW of electricity, sufficient to power about 320,000 homes. It was officially opened by UK Energy Secretary Edward Davey in February this year.

DONG Energy, which has its headquarters in Denmark, is one of the leading energy groups in Northern Europe and the UK.

It already has two 90 MW wind farms at Barrow in the East Irish Sea and Burbo Bank in Liverpool Bay and also operates Gunfleet Sands in the Thames estuary, which has a generating capacity of 172 MW.

As well as its plans to extend its Walney Island facility, it has five more UK projects that are currently at various stages of development.

DONG Energy and Centrica have submitted initial proposals for a giant 2.2 gigawatts (GW) offshore wind farm between Anglesey and the Isle of Man.

Named Rhiannon, it would comprise between 147 and 440 turbines.

The two energy companies set up a joint venture called Celtic Array in March to develop the zone they were awarded in Round 3 of The Crown Estate’s offshore wind licensing.

They intend to submit an application to the Planning Inspectorate by the end of 2013 with the aim of beginning construction in 2017.

DONG has also been awarded an exclusivity agreement from the Crown Estate to search an area within the Outer Solway, located entirely in Scottish territorial waters to the north of the Isle of Man and to the south of Luce Bay in Dumfries and Galloway.

The Steam Packet has already voiced concerns at the impact of an increasing number of wind farms in the Irish Sea and is objecting to Celtic Array’s proposals which will cut through both the Heysham and Liverpool routes.

Meanwhile, the Isle of Man Government is actively looking at the possibility of allowing a windfarm development in Manx territorial waters.

It believes the island could also become a hub for interconnectors linking wind farms in the Irish Sea while our harbours could be used for operation and maintenance bases servicing the off-shore wind farms.

In May 2010, Tynwald voted unanimously in favour of a target of generating 15 per cent of the island’s electricity from renewable sources by 2015.

DONG Energy’s community consultation event at the Villa Marina’s Promenade Suite on Wednesday September 5 will be held between 1pm and 7pm.

The company held an earlier event in September last year.

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