Manx wind farm plan remains in 'early stages'

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Wind turbinesImage source, PA
Image caption,
The firm said construction of the wind farm was due to begin after 2020

A Danish company which plans to build a wind farm off the Manx coast have said the project "remains in the early stages" three years after it began.

Orsted, formerly DONG energy, reached an agreement with the Manx government in 2015 to explore the feasibility of constructing a renewable energy plant.

The firm has since built the world's largest offshore wind farm off Cumbria, which is visible from the Manx coast.

A company spokesman said it was "continuing with survey work".

An area stretching to 12 nautical miles (22km) around the Isle of Man is controlled by the Manx government, which has responsibility for marine planning.

In 2015, the Manx government said any wind farm development would require a "full environmental impact assessment" and would be expected to create jobs and generate an annual income of millions of pounds.

Earlier this month, the government granted a licence for a company to search for gas in the same area off the coast of Maughold.

Image source, IoM Govt
Image caption,
The firm plans to build the farm off the island's east coast

Orsted's James Platt said it was "common to overlap with other development sites" and said the two companies could "co-exist".

The Manx government has been approached for comment.

Mr Platt said the final layout, size and number of turbines was not yet known but added that a Manx wind farm could generate up to 700 megawatts (MW) of electricity, enough to power 600,000 homes.

He added that construction was due to begin after 2020, subject to the firm gaining the necessary consents.

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