Danish energy group DONG Energy, along with partners B9 Energy and RES, has won the rights to develop an offshore wind farm up to 600 MW in capacity off the east coast of Northern Ireland.
The Crown Estate, which manages the UK’s coastal waters, announced today that the consortium First Flight Wind, of which DONG Energy owns 50%, has obtained all the necessary consents from Northern Ireland’s Departments of Environment and Enterprise, Trade and Investment.
DONG Energy says the consortium, which will start consultations with the community next month, plans to submit a full application for consent in 2015.
“This is great news for First Flight Wind and great news for DONG Energy,” said Benj Sykes, manager of DONG Energy Wind UK and chair of the consortium. “Each member of the consortium brings specific expertise to the project and the fact that we’ve won the bid shows we can work very well together.”
DONG Energy has signed a lease with Belfast Harbour to use it as an offshore wind base, transforming it to handle large vessels and wind turbine components. Starting in 2013, the company will use it for offshore construction of the West of Duddon Sands project.
DONG Energy is also hoping to develop a further 2.2 GW of offshore wind capacity in the Irish Sea between Anglesey and the Isle of Man with Centrica as part of the Celtic Array project.
The Crown Estate also granted rights to Tidal Ventures for a 100 MW tidal development at Torr Head and DP Marine Energy of Ireland and DEME of Belgium for an additional 100 MW project at Fair Head.
“Today’s announcement by The Crown Estate represents a major milestone for Northern Ireland,” says the region’s Energy Minister Arlene Foster. “I am greatly encouraged by the progress made to date to develop our offshore renewable resource and that these key companies want to invest in our waters.”
Following environmental assessments, and subject to planning consent, development on the two projects is expected to start from 2016/17 onwards.
For further information:
Sheringham Shoal offshore wind farm takes UK capacity to 2.5 GW (1-Oct)
Wind drives energy link between Ireland and Britain (25-Sept)
Centrica and DONG Energy set sights on 2.2 GW offshore wind farm (20-Jul)
World’s largest wind farm opens for business (15-Jun)
10 October 2012