Plans to develop offshore renewable energy opportunities off the south east coast of County Down to be revealed today.
On 10 October 2012 the Crown Estate, which has responsibility for leasing the seabed for renewable energy in all UK waters, announced the successful bids for Northern Ireland offshore wind and tidal leasing opportunities.
Rights to develop offshore renewable energy opportunities off the south east coast of County Down have been awarded and it is predicted that this project could supply up to 600MW of electrical power by 2020, which could be capable of meeting up to a fifth of Northern Ireland's electricity requirements.
Lease agreements with the Crown Estate allow renewable energy companies to conduct detailed surveys and planning work prior to submitting their proposals to the relevant NI bodies for consent. The precise location of this wind farm, which has yet to be decided upon, could be anywhere from the Ards Penninsula to Carlingford Lough. A meeting is to be held on 24th October 2012 in Newcastle Co Down to outline the proposed programme of community consultation and to discuss how the process of engagement in public consultation should proceed. This meeting is expected to include politicians, business and community leaders from across east County Down while public information days are then to be held over the first two weeks of November to allow interested parties to find out more details about the project development process.
Tidal energy projects have also been awarded at Torr Head and Fair Head off the North East coast of Co Antrim.
According to the Crown Estate the competitive tender process attracted interest from both national and international renewable energy development companies.
Anna Owens is an Associate Partner with Worthingtons Solicitors who specialises in wind farm and telecommunications transactions, as well as bank securitisation.
David Wilson a Partner with Worthingtons Solicitors Commercial department advises commercial and institutional clients and private investors on all aspects of commercial property and in addition deals in windfarm and telecommunications transactions.