First Flight Wind Consortium Selected to Bring Offshore Wind to Northern Ireland
The Crown Estate today announced that the consortium, First Flight Wind, has been selected to develop an offshore wind farm off the south east coast of County Down, Northern Ireland. Subject to obtaining all necessary consents from the Department of Environment and the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment, the project could deliver up to 600 Megawatts (MW) of generating capacity for Northern Ireland. First Flight Wind Ltd is a consortium comprising B9 Energy, DONG Energy and RES .
Offshore wind is seen as crucial for Northern Ireland to reach its ambitious targets for renewable energy. The Northern Ireland Executive requires 40% of electricity to come from renewable sources by 2020. This offshore wind project could be capable of meeting up to a fifth of Northern Ireland's 2020 electricity requirements.
Benj Sykes, Chairman of First Flight Wind, said:
"We are delighted that First Flight Wind has been selected to develop this pioneering project. Harnessing the locally abundant offshore wind resources will help Northern Ireland to become more self-sufficient in electricity supplies and reduce reliance on carbon-intensive sources of energy. This project will also offer opportunities for local companies in the development, construction and operation phases."
Michael Harper, Director of First Flight Wind, continued:
"We recognise that the development of an offshore wind farm off the County Down coast will generate local interest and debate. We are looking forward to meeting and consulting with local communities so that we can identify issues of concern, explore solutions and design a project that will be a positive asset to the local community and to Northern Ireland."
First Flight Wind will be unveiling its proposed community consultation programme in Newcastle, County Down on 24th October. It will then hold public Information Days over the first two weeks of November . The Information Days will provide an opportunity for interested parties to meet the First Flight Wind team, raise questions and find out more detail about the project development process. The consortium will also be asking for feedback on the community consultation programme proposed for the development stage of the project. This stage will run from now until the submission of the applications for consent, targeted for 2015