According to the Northern Ireland government, wind farms are to play a vital role in helping Northern Ireland meet its ambitious 40% renewable electricity target for 2020.
The goal is a key plank of the province’s energy strategy, which aims to shift it away from a near 100% dependence on imported fossil fuels. It will require a four-fold increase in current levels of renewable generation. The strategy also confirms a 10% renewable heat target.
Commenting on the Crown Estate announcement, Arlene Foster, MLA, minister of enterprise, trade and investment, said: "The Strategic Environmental Assessment that we undertook has shown there is strong potential for offshore wind and tidal stream projects, which could bring significant economic benefits to Northern Ireland as well as help meet our 40% target for renewable energy by 2020."