Isle of Man

Isle of Man

Isle of Man advances offshore wind plans

ISLE OF MAN: The Isle of Man has moved forward with a tender for the construction of offshore wind capacity in its territorial waters despite the cancellation of the nearby Celtic Array block due to difficult seabed conditions.

The Island's territorial waters extend 19 kilometres from its shores
The Island's territorial waters extend 19 kilometres from its shores

Ken Milne, senior manager for energy policy for the island's government told Windpower Monthly that it has now chosen between several developers that submitted bids to take up a lease of the seabed.

The developer, which is expected to be named next month, will develop one project "well below" the 2GW of total potential identified in Isle of Man territorial waters.

The government has decided to go ahead with its plans to develop offshore wind despite the scrapping of the nearby Celtic Array block in the UK Irish Sea due to the adverse seabed conditions identified by developers Dong Energy and Centrica.

No survey of the seabed around the Isle of Man has yet been carried out, but Milne said that the existing constraints had been taken into account.

The developer will also be responsible for the construction of a transmission link to the UK, where the power could then be fed into the national grid.

However, an agreement for the UK to buy the power has yet to be made. Although the island is classified as a possession of the British crown, it is not part of the UK and so could be excluded from the country's subsidy system.

But Milne pointed to an announcement in August that the UK's energy department is considering opening up the contracts for difference (CfD) subsidy scheme to non-UK projects from 2018.

In April, the Isle of Man government voted overwhelmingly in favour of a strategy to develop offshore energy production. It said it could raise up to £5 million (EUR 6 million) a year by leasing parts of its seabed.

The government has a plan to become a renewable energy hub and to export ten times as much low-carbon electricity to the UK as the entire island consumes in a year.

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