Fair Head Tidal Energy Park Ltd (FHTEP), a special purpose company set up by DP Marine Energy (DPME) and DEME Blue Energy (DBE), proposes to build a tidal energy development of up to 100MW installed capacity off Fair Head in North Antrim, Northern Ireland.
In October 2012 DPME and DBE were awarded an Agreement for Lease (AfL) from The Crown Estate (TCE) for an area of seabed of approximately 3 km2. This agreement includes exclusive rights to evaluate, consent and ultimately develop a 100MW tidal energy project. If successful in obtaining the necessary consents and licences, it is anticipated that the initial deployment of devices could commence in 2017, (possibly sooner subject to grid availability) and the project would reach full commercial operation by the end of 2019.
Scope and Method Proposal
This document forms FHTEP’s written request to:
(i) the Department of Environment, Marine Division (DoE MD) as the appropriate licensing authority for Northern Ireland under the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009, for their opinion as to the information to be provided in the Environmental Statement (ES) for the tidal development and associated subsea cable(s), under Regulation 13 of the Marine Works (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2007; and
(ii) the Department for Enterprise, Trade and Investment (DETI), as the Department in Northern Ireland responsible for consenting the construction of any new generating station requiring consent under the Electricity (Northern Ireland) Order 1992, for its opinion as to the information to be provided in the Environmental Statement (ES) for the tidal development and associated subsea cable(s), under Regulation 5 of The Offshore Electricity Development (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2008
This document also informs DoE MD that FHTEP intends to make an application for the following consents and licences:
- A Marine Licence under Part 4 of the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 (DoENI 2009) for the placing of materials on the sea bed, the disposal of waste at sea and the use of certain chemicals. Under article 8 of the Marine Works (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2007 (amended 2011) any activity requiring a marine licence and that is considered likely to have significant effects on the environment must accompany the application with an Environmental Statement (ES);
- A Consent under Article 39 of the Electricity (Northern Ireland) Order 1992 from the Department Enterprise, Trade and Investment, (DETI) as amended by The Electricity Consents (Planning) (Northern Ireland) Order (2006) for the construction and operation of the Tidal Array, with a capacity exceeding 1MW.
The electrical connection beyond the export cables landing point at mean high water springs (MHWS) on the Antrim coast is not considered in this scoping document and will be the subject of a separate scoping document and application for consent under Section 40 of the Electricity (Northern Ireland) Order 1992 from DETI for the associated overhead lines from the land based substation.
Outline details of these elements are included within this scoping document for information only to add context to the project. Therefore, the following elements are not included in the s coping document:
- Any onshore cabling beyond high water mark;
- Any metering or control room buildings;
- Electrical substations; and
- Any operational support or maintenance facilities.
The Planning Service of Northern Ireland has no jurisdiction over off-shore renewable proposals. This is the responsibility of the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment, On-shore ancillary development to serve off-shore renewable proposals (e.g. power lines or substations) will be dealt with by Planning Service. A provision for Deemed Planning Permission under Article 2 of The Electricity Consents (Planning) (Northern Ireland) Order (2006) for the onshore parts of a project, such as the control building, external electrical components, onshore cable routes and associated infrastructure to be considered under the provisions of the Order. This Order amended Schedule 8 of the Electricity Order (Northern Ireland) but is not currently operational thus the onshore parts of the development will require to be submitted under the normal planning process of the Planning (Northern Ireland) Order (1991).
TCE own the foreshore and seabed from High Water to the 12 nautical mile limit.
Central to the project feasibility will be an assessment of the environmental effects likely to arise during construction, operation and decommissioning of the tidal array and identification of suitable mitigation measures where appropriate. By incorporating such measures in the design process, potential impacts can be reduced.
The purpose of this scoping document is also to provide a focus for the ES by identifying the key issues of relevance and to outline the scope and approach that will be adopted. It is anticipated that various organisations will have the opportunity to submit comments and to offer information relevant to the preparation of the ES.
The ES will be structured to provide a description of the proposed development and the existing environment, an assessment of the impacts of the development and the measures to mitigate adverse impacts.