Isle of Man Chamber of Commerce members were given an update about Irish Sea offshore windfarm plans at a ‘Lunch & Learn’ event.

Representatives from a cross-section of the private, public and third sectors were at The Claremont Hotel for the first in a series of briefings being organised by the island’s biggest business network on topical issues of interest to the business community.

Following introductions from Chamber’s business support lead, Jessica Kitchin, and Energy & Sustainability Centre (ESC) director, Ralph Peake, the audience were given a detailed update about Irish Sea offshore wind developments by John Galloway, Ørsted’s development director in the Isle of Man.

He began with a summary of Ørsted’s history, including its transition from an oil and gas business into its status today as one of the world’s leading green energy firms.

This was followed by an overview of operational and proposed wind farms in the Irish Sea, most of which are in UK waters but which of course are of interest from an Isle of Man perspective.

Ørsted’s Mooir Vannin Offshore Windfarm project is a proposal to build the first offshore wind farm in Isle of Man territorial seas off the island’s east coast.

Mr Galloway said the windfarm would be privately funded and would deliver many benefits for the Isle of Man. This would include the government receiving an annual rent for leasing the site, a percentage of revenue throughout the operation of the wind farm, plus taxation and royalties once it was established.

He added that in addition to revenue streams directly to the Treasury, the offshore windfarm has the potential to boost the local economy and community.

Danish-owned Ørsted would look to launch and operate a ‘community investment fund’ which would help charities and other island causes during the lifetime of the wind farm.

Over the last 10 years, Ørsted has invested over £15billion in the UK building offshore wind farms and expects to invest the same amount in the coming decade.

The presentation concluded with a summary of the project timeline which has the aim of the wind farm being operational around 2032. ESC director Ralph Peake then chaired a Q&A session with questions from guests, plus some submitted via text from those not able to attend in person.