The Isle of Man targets UK offshore wind rush

UK: The Isle of Man, situated off the British coast, is aiming to become an offshore wind hub for the Irish Sea and develop around 225MW in its waters.

The Isle of Man is targeting 255MW of offshore wind capacity

The Manx Marine Environmental Assessment is undertaken by the island’s government and is set to be published in the Spring. Along with a Marine Spatial Plan, it will establish the most appropriate sites for offshore wind farms to the south and west of the island.

The Isle of Man is a self-governing British Crown Dependency, and owns its own seabed up to 12 miles from the shoreline.

Initial Manx government estimates suggest an immediate offshore wind potential of 225MW, with a favoured option of between 22 and 55 5MW offshore turbines.

Under the All-Islands Agreement, energy ministers from the British-Irish Council and the Isle of Man have agreed to co-operate to deliver renewable energy.

The Isle of Man will target mainland Britain for the export of electricity from offshore wind using its existing 65MW power interconnector to the UK, which would also be upgraded.

The island government’s senior energy policy manager Dr Ken Milne said: "We envisage the Isle of Man becoming a central wind energy hub in the Irish Sea, with electricity from 6-7 wind farms both within our jurisdiction and beyond feeding into the GB grid via our interconnector.

"We have shallow waters here similar to those used for UK Round 1 and 2 projects, and have port facilities in Douglas and Ramsey which are already being used for Irish Sea offshore wind projects".

As well as port and supply chain infrastructure the Isle of Man also has favourable financial arrangements including a zero rate of corporation tax. The island already exports 20% of its electricity, currently generated by gas and hydro power, to the UK mainland.