Offshore Renewable Energy Installations (OREI) include offshore wind farms, marine current turbines, wave generators and any other installation, with the potential to affect marine navigation and safety, proposed for United Kingdom (UK) internal waters, territorial sea or in a Renewable Energy Zone (REZ) beyond the territorial sea.
Recommendations in this guidance note should be taken into account by OREI developers seeking formal consent for marine works. Failure by developers to give due regard to these recommendations may result in objections to their proposals on the grounds of navigational safety or emergency response preparedness. Additional information on the process for consenting OREI and the regulatory framework is available from the Business, Enterprise & Regulatory Reform (BERR) web site.. After the publication of this MGN, updated guidance on consent and similar issues can be obtained from the BERR website under “Energy”. It should be noted that BERR is not responsible for consenting projects in the internal and territorial waters of either Scotland or Northern Ireland.
The considerations and criteria contained in the attached annexes are intended to address the navigational impact and emergency response of OREI proposed for UK sites. Their development necessitates the establishment of a clear consents process to deal with potential detrimental effects. The consent regime must take account of local factors, national standards and international aspects which could influence the establishment of an OREI.
The Energy Act 2004 establishes a regulatory regime for OREI beyond territorial waters, in the UK's REZ, and supplements the regime which already applies in Great Britain’s internal and territorial waters. Section 99 of the Act deals specifically with navigation and introduces a new section, 36B with the title "duties in relation to navigation" into section 36 of the Electricity Act 1989. Under 36B(1) a consent cannot be granted for an OREI which is likely to interfere with the use of “recognised sea lanes essential to international navigation”. This term is married at 36B (7) to Article 60(7) of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 36B(2) of the Electricity Act consolidates into section 36 the provisions of section 34 of the Coast Protection Act 1949.
The recommendations have been developed in consultation with BERR, the devolved government authorities for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, mariners in the commercial, military, fisheries and recreational sectors, relevant associations and port authority representatives, the General Lighthouse Authorities (GLA) and emergency support services such as the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI).