Plans for £4bn offshore wind farm could meet Manx energy demands

Image caption,

Orsted development director John Galloway said the project had clear benefits

Power generated from a £4bn offshore wind farm could meet the Isle of Man’s peak energy demands, the company behind the plans has said.

Renewable energy firm Orsted is seeking views on the proposals for the project in area off the island’s east coast.

Development director John Galloway said power from the wind farm could become a “backbone” of the Manx energy system.

He said the firm intended to submit a planning application in 2025, and have the site up and running after 2030.

Up to 100 turbines could be built in the 253 square km (96 square mile) area of seabed, which was leased to the firm by the Manx government in 2015 to explore the potential for a wind farm.

About 1.4 gigawatts could be generated by the array, with Orsted investigating subsea connections to national grids in the UK and the Isle of Man.

Export power

Manx Utilities’ current estimates show the island has a peak electricity demand of 75 megawatts during the winter, and a year-round average demand of 40 megawatts.

Orsted is exploring subsea connections that could see between 80 to 100 megawatts supplied directly to the island, Mr Galloway said.

But the power would primarily be sold to neighbouring nations, which would benefit the island through increased taxation and rent paid by Orsted to the Manx government, he said.

The Danish energy giant already has eight wind farms in the Irish Sea, including the Walney extension project, which is one of the world’s largest arrays.

Mr Galloway confirmed Orsted would engage with Crogga, the firm behind plans for a gas well close to the wind farm site, if the Manx government allows that project to progress.

Public drop-in sessions are set to be held later this month by Orsted after the firm released a report outlining its initial plans for the Mooir Vannin Offshore Wind Farm project.

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